The State Police are not conducting a proposed criminal investigation into 64,000 irregularities in the state’s voter file, although Secretary of State Dianna Duran sent the files to the agency months ago for an inquiry.
Gorden Eden, secretary of the state Department of Public Safety, which oversees the State Police, said Friday that his agency has been acting in an “advisory” role with Duran’s office but does not have the resources to look at all 64,000 cases. He also said it is more appropriate for Duran’s office to conduct the inquiry.
“This is truly an issue, a case, that needed to be looked at by the SOS’s office,” Eden said. But Eden did not rule out a future criminal investigation, if evidence is presented that one is needed.
Duran’s chief of staff, Ken Ortiz, said Friday that State Police officials have provided his office with suggestions, methodologies and other techniques to identify potential problems in the voter file, but the police have not been looking at the files themselves.
“We’re very much grateful with what they have been able to do so far,” Ortiz said.
Duran, in a March 25 letter to the State Police’s special investigations division, said she was “enclosing the (voter file) materials for criminal investigation by your agency.”
The investigation first came up in Duran’s testimony before a panel of lawmakers during the Legislature’s regular session in early March. Duran said she had identified 37 people who had obtained driver’s licenses while they were not citizens and had subsequently voted in various elections between 2003 and 2010.
“I think everyone in this room should be concerned to hear that our elections have been compromised,” Duran told the panel after being asked by legislators about potential fraud in New Mexico elections.
Since then, Duran has characterized her efforts as an attempt to ensure the state’s 1.1 million-person voter file had “accuracy and integrity.” She has said that although her office may find some fraud in the 64,000 irregularities in the voter file records, almost all of the mistakes are likely clerical.
Full Article: ABQJournal Online » State Cops Skip Voter File Probe.