A planned recount in the race for New Mexico Land Commission, scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., Monday, was halted by order of the New Mexico Supreme Court. Instead, key figures in the recount will be in court Monday. Incumbent Commissioner Ray Powell, a Democrat, who trailed Republican Aubrey Dunn by 703 votes in the most recent election results, asked the state Supreme Court Monday to halt temporarily the automatic recount of votes in the contested race. In a filing against the State Canvassing Board, he contended the state board violated state law and election code. The primary focus of Powell’s claim is based on whether state law clearly describes the recount procedure or if the secretary of state should dictate the process. He contends the procedure proposed would not properly check the accuracy of vote tabulating machines.
Lincoln County Clerk Rhonda Burrows said she was in the middle of a webinar Tuesday about the procedure when State Elections Bureau Director Bobbi Shearer said “hold on.”
“Essentially, the court put the recount on hold,” Burrows said. “I’m certain the recount will take place in the near future pending the hearing on Monday.”
On Nov. 25, New Mexico’s State Canvassing Board ordered a recount. When the recount moves forward, leaders of both political parties plan to use observers to ensure the validity of the process.