A hearing has been set for Monday to review objections by the Sandoval County attorney and a lawyer representing Democratic winners regarding two GOP challengers’ request for a ballot recount in three Rio Rancho precincts. According to court documents, Sandoval County Attorney Patrick Trujillo is objecting to the Republicans’ recount request because one candidate’s race — Paula Papponi, who ran for Sandoval County clerk, was a county race, while the other’s, David Doyle, who ran for state Senate, was a state race.
Trujillo states in court documents that the mix of county and state is a problem because the recount process is different for each. Election code states that candidates running for county office are to file petition recounts with a county district court, while state candidates are to file their petitions with the Secretary of State’s office.
A lawyer for the Republicans, Pat Rogers, told the Observer last week that he was considering filing a petition with the Secretary of State on behalf of Doyle.
Damon Ely, a lawyer representing District 9 State Sen. John Sapien and newly elected county clerk Eileen Garbagni is objecting to the Republicans’ recount request on the same grounds as the county, according to court documents.
Both lawyers also raised another issue, stating that the Republicans have failed to place a monetary deposit to cover the cost of the recount, according to court documents. The cost is $670 to $1,020 per precinct, according to a state canvassing board document. Candidates requesting recounts are required to pay a deposit based on how many precincts are chosen. That amount is then refunded if a recount shows that the candidate demanding the recount has won the election.
During a Nov. 26 hearing, Trujillo and Ely individually indicated they didn’t have a problem with a recount occurring, but would raise objections if the process leading up to it appeared not to comply with state law.