Attorney General Gary King is investigating what he is calling a “near meltdown of voting procedures” in Rio Rancho last week, when voters had to wait up to five hours to cast ballots. King’s office launched the “high-priority” investigation in response to complaints from legislators, concerned citizens and some of its own attorneys and staffers, spokesman Phil Sisneros said Monday. “We want to find out what caused the delays — who did what, when— and what is being done about it,” he said.
Sandoval County and other counties tried a new voting system for the general election, consolidating up to 10 precincts into “voting convenience centers.” Rio Rancho, with a population of more than 80,000, had five centers, each equipped with three computer and printer systems.
A county spokesman has said the county asked the secretary of state for more machines before the election but was told there was no funding. The Secretary of State’s Office denies receiving a request for more equipment.