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New Mexico Supreme Court Sides with Sec. of State, Mandates County Certify Primary Results

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The New Mexico Supreme Court has stepped in to decide an issue regarding a Republican county board’s refusal to certify the results of primary elections.

According to NBC News, Chief Justice C. Shannon Bacon issued an order compelling the Otero County Commission to certify the results of its June 7 election by Friday after the county board expressed concerns over voting machines.

The outlet notes further:

The order came a day after New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat, said the GOP-controlled commission was “appeasing unfounded conspiracy theories and potentially nullifying the votes of every Otero County voter who participated in the primary.”

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In a 19-page filing, Toulouse Oliver had asked that the state Supreme Court order the county commission to certify primary election results in Otero County, whose southern line is near the U.S.-Mexico border.

“At the meeting they identified no deficiency in the election results, but rather made unsubstantiated claims about the voting systems in use throughout the state,” Toulouse Oliver wrote.

Toulouse Oliver hailed the high court’s order on Wednesday following the state high court’s decision.

“The voters and candidates of Otero County can now we assured that their voices will be heard in full,” she said in a statement.

“Though it was sad to see the Commission give in to discredited conspiracy theories and try to halt the legal process of election certification, it’s encouraging to know that the rule of law prevailed and that the checks and balances in our system of government remain strong,” she added.

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Others blasted the county’s decision not to certify, especially the reason given.

“We are in scary territory,” Jennifer Morrell, a former election official in Colorado and Utah who now advises federal, state and local officials, told CBS News. “If this can happen here, where next? It’s like a cancer, a virus. It’s metastasizing and growing.”

The outlet adds:

There is no evidence of widespread fraud or manipulation of voting equipment in the 2020 election, which Trump lost to Joe Biden. But that hasn’t stopped the false claims, particularly those about Dominion machines.

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“I have huge concerns with these voting machines,” Otero County Commissioner Vickie Marquardt said Monday as she and her two fellow commissioners, all of whom are Republicans, voted unanimously.

“When I certify stuff that I don’t know is right, I feel like I’m being dishonest because in my heart I don’t know if it is right,” Marquardt added.

Former Attorney General William Barr, in a videotaped interview with a House panel investigating the Jan. 6 riot, said he spoke with then-President Donald Trump about the “idiotic claims” surrounding Dominion.

Barr said he found them to be “among the most disturbing allegations” because they were “made in such a sensational way that they obviously were influencing a lot of people.” He also said that the claims were doing a “grave disservice to the country.”

Dominion has filed defamation lawsuits against various Trump associates and conservative media organizations, including Fox News.

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To that point, a Delaware judge ruled on Thursday that a defamation lawsuit against Newsmax filed by Dominion Voting Systems can proceed.

The voting machines firm accused Newsmax of purposely spreading false information about its voting technology in the 2020 election.

Superior Court Judge Eric Davis denied a motion from Newsmax to dismiss the case, saying the company “knew the allegations were probably false” about the voting technology and “there were enough signs indicating the statements were not true to infer Newsmax’s intent to avoid the truth.”

“Given that Newsmax apparently refused to report contrary evidence, including evidence from the Department of Justice, the allegations support the reasonable inference that Newsmax intended to keep Dominion’s side of the story out of the mainstream,” Davis wrote in his opinion.

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“Dominion Voting Systems, a federally certified company selling voting machines and tabulators across the country, filed lawsuits in August against Newsmax and One America News, as well as Patrick Byrne, the former CEO of Overstock.com, alleging defamation. The lawsuits followed debunked claims spread by former President Trump that the 2020 election was rife with fraud. Trump’s legal team, including Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, took aim at Dominion Voting Systems, accusing the company’s voting tech of manipulating votes in favor of President Biden,” The Hill reported.

“In its motion, Newsmax argued the standard of actual malice had not been set and that they were defended by a legal doctrine that allows journalists to report on newsworthy allegations by individuals,” the report added.

On Thursday, Davis agreed Dominion’s suit had enough basis to move forward.

“The Complaint supports the reasonable inference that Newsmax either knew its statements about Dominion’s role in the election fraud were false or had a high degree of awareness that they were false,” the judge wrote.

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