State elections officials say rejected provisional ballots cast by New Mexicans who registered to vote at the Motor Vehicle Division should be counted in the recount of the land commissioner race that begins today. The State Canvassing Board’s recount procedures say those MVD registrants, whose names didn’t show up on voter rolls, should have their ballots counted if they’re otherwise qualified. The recount of the race between Republican Aubrey Dunn, who won by just over 700 votes, and Democratic Land Commissioner Ray Powell is required by law because it was so close. The state Supreme Court cleared the way for the recount after a hearing Wednesday. Powell’s camp told the court it’s concerned that counties wouldn’t get the necessary information from state officials to determine who the MVD voters were. Powell claims he has been stonewalled in his own efforts to get documentation about those voters from the secretary of state and MVD.
Late Wednesday, however, Rod Adair, a spokesman for Secretary of State Dianna Duran, told the Journal his office planned to send county clerks a list of 74,555 people statewide who conducted transactions at MVD in the past two years and said they wanted to register to vote. Those names could be compared to names on rejected provisional ballots, in order to identify the MVD registrants.
There are 873 provisional ballots statewide that were rejected when the Nov. 4 race was tallied; it’s not known how many of those were cast by voters who registered at MVD.