RELEASE: DPNM Asks Court to Enforce Election Law SOS Duran Would Rather Ignore
Submitted by J. Dyrcz on 11 October 2012 - 4:45pm
Filed today for order to re-instate straight ticket voting, stop arbitrary re-arrangement of the ballot
For Immediate Release
October 11, 2012
Contact: Matt Ross, (505) 263-4879
Albuquerque, NM - For the first time in New Mexico history, Secretary of State Dianna Duran has unilaterally decided that New Mexico voters should no longer be allowed to exercise their right to vote a straight-party ticket this November.
This is a right provided for in state statutes that govern exactly what the Secretary of State must do on the ballot. Duran’s position is administrative, to carry out the law, not make it. With her decisions she is choosing to ignore state law and re-arrange the ballot based on personal and political whims. As a result, today DPNM and several plaintiffs are filing a lawsuit (attached) for a court order to do what the Secretary is unwilling to do: enforce the law.
Secretary Duran’s decision was undertaken arbitrarily, without study or public input, and without education of any sort to inform New Mexico voters that for the first time in their lives, something they’ve counted on being there will not be.
And with the decision – again arbitrary and again without public input or education – to take the Party emblems that have always signified the straight party option and move them to a different place on the ballot where they no longer mean what generations of voters are used to them meaning, and it is hard not to assume an agenda at work that is not in the public’s interest.
The following is a statement from DPNM Chairman Javier M. Gonzales on the filing of our lawsuit to order Secretary Duran to abide by the election laws that govern her office:
“Besides the fact that voting is the most sacred right we have many voters have become very confused without the straight party option on the ballot and it is the job of the Secretary of State to administer voter registration and elections in a way that is fair, legal and within the guidelines given to her by the statutes of the state of New Mexico.
“Sadly, Dianna Duran has refused to do that over and over again. New Mexico law provides for a straight ticket option with the Party emblem next to it that New Mexico voters can use to simplify the act of casting their ballot. The Secretary, for whatever reason, has chosen to ignore the law and the statutes, and it is that decision that is landing her in court.
“This is just another distraction in a long line of bad decisions. Whether using her office to go on taxpayer-funded witch hunts for non-existent voter fraud, throw the status of hundreds of thousands of New Mexico voters into question and confusion without cause, or now, attempt to change the rules we’ve all known and lived by since any of us can remember at the last minute, Secretary Duran needs to refocus her office on its central function – helping people vote in free and fair and legally-run elections.
“It appears we need a court order to make sure that happens, so that is what we are seeking. “