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US court dismisses appeal of Sandoval County election order

A federal appeals court has dismissed an appeal of a judge’s order that required Sandoval County to use more election polling places and machines in the 2014 election.

The Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday said the case is now moot because the 2014 election has already been held.

A U.S. District Court judge had ordered Sandoval County to increase polling places and machines after voting precincts were consolidated into voting centers for the 2012 election.

That resulted in hours-long lines at polling places in Republican-leaning Rio Rancho, an Albuquerque suburb that is the county’s most populous city.

The judge called that a “complete disaster.”

The county had appealed, but the 10th Circuit declined before the 2014 election was held to accelerate its review of the case.