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Editorial: SOS, county clerks put on a competent election day

No matter which candidates won and lost on Nov. 8, election officials statewide were definitely winners for organizing and coordinating a smooth, relatively trouble free election process that delivered what it was supposed to – a chance for all registered voters who so desired to not only have their say but to know the results in a timely fashion.

That’s a relief for news media and voters alike, who over the years have been subjected to bungling in the voting process and tabulations that were agonizingly slow to produce results.

Secretary of State Brad Winter and his office’s Bureau of Elections and county clerk’s offices across the state are to be congratulated for a job well done with few hitches.

Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver, who won her bid to take over for Winter in 2017, ran a smooth operation in the state’s most populous county.

Gov. Susana Martinez appointed Winter as interim secretary after elected Clerk Dianna Duran stepped down after being convicted in 2015 on embezzlement and money laundering charges. Toulouse Oliver may take office in early December, as allowed under regulations allowing for early replacement of the interim secretary.

Neighboring Sandoval County, the site in past elections of long lines and inadequate numbers of polling places and vote counting machines, also had a quiet election this time around under the direction of Clerk Eileen Garbagni, the incumbent who won re-election for another four-year term.

Despite the aggressive and sometimes crude rhetoric of the presidential and local campaigns and threats and fears of rigged elections and voter suppression, these elected officials and their staffs provided competent service to New Mexico voters. Good work from all.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.