SANTA FE — New Mexico’s five designated presidential electors each voted for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton today, while expressing disappointment about the outcome of the presidential election and misgivings over the Electoral College system.
Protesters holding anti-Donald Trump signs held a rally outside the state Capitol in Santa Fe today and then stood just outside a conference room in the Secretary of State’s office today as the five electors were meeting.
While some Trump opponents have called on presidential electors to block Trump from reaching the White House by strategically voting for different Republicans, that was never likely to happen in New Mexico.
In New Mexico, where Clinton defeated Trump by about 8 percentage points in the statewide vote, it is a fourth-degree felony for designated electors to cast their ballot for anyone other than the presidential candidate who received the majority of the votes cast in the state.
First-time elector Noyola Archibeque of Las Vegas said she was proud New Mexico “stayed blue” but said the rules of the Electoral College need to be revised to better reflect the popular vote.
“There’s something really wrong with this system,” she told the Journal.
The Electoral College process is the last hurdle for President-elect Trump, who is expected to be sworn into office next month.
While rules can vary by state, electors around the nation were meeting today and casting votes for president and vice president.
Elector John Padilla of Albuquerque acknowledged it is unlikely that the Electoral College could be used to prevent Trump from taking office.
But he said the fact Clinton leads nationwide in the popular vote — by a margin of nearly 2.9
million votes — shows the system should be re-examined.
“I think we need to have a talk about it, but the whole country needs to be a part of it,” Padilla said.
All five of New Mexico’s electors, who are appointed by state Democratic Party leaders, signed a certificate that will be delivered to Congress for the final certification of election results in January.