New Mexico State Police will review a staggering 64,000 voter cases to determine if any fraud has occurred in recent elections. Public Safety Director Gorden Eden outlined the scope of the investigation during an interview last week. He said the voter files were turned over to state police by Secretary of State Dianna Duran.
Duran, a Republican, publicly told legislators in March that her staff had uncovered 37 instances of possible voter fraud, though she said her investigation had only begun.
That small stack of what Duran called “questionable” cases has turned into a mountain of files for police to pore over. Duran said her staff had flagged tens of thousands of voter records that needed “further review” by criminal investigators.
New Mexico has about 1.16 million registered voters, so the cases Duran has sent to police could account for more than 5 percent of the total.
Daniel Ivey-Soto, executive director of the organization that represents New Mexico’s 33 county clerks, said he welcomed the investigation into voter fraud but considered it a bad use of taxpayers’ money.
“Why not ask the county clerks who are responsible for the integrity of elections for their help?” Ivey-Soto said. “It doesn’t make any sense to take valuable law enforcement time for a 64,000-record fishing expedition.”
Duran said she forwarded questionable cases to police because her responsibility was to make sure that the state database of registered voters was accurate and
contained only those eligible to cast ballots.
Neither she nor Eden would say what they expected the investigation to reveal. But, Duran said, many of the cases that raised suspicion among her staff might be explained by something as simple as data-entry errors.