A historic statewide recount in the race for commissioner of public lands confirmed that Republican Aubrey Dunn has ousted Democratic incumbent Ray Powell. Final numbers hadn’t been posted, but Bureau of Elections Director Bobbi Shearer said Tuesday night that Dunn was the winner of the State Land Office race. “The outcome of the race did not change,” she said. Dunn had defeated Powell by 704 votes in the first round of tallying after the Nov. 4 general election. “We won again, and we appreciate all the support from the citizens of New Mexico. … I think we can do a lot of good things,” Dunn told the Journal . He will be sworn in, along with other statewide elected officials, on Jan. 1. Powell said he is “really proud of the employees of the Land Office and what we’ve done over the past four years.” The office has never run better, he said. “I wish Mr. Dunn the best of luck in taking care of New Mexico’s trust lands,” Powell added.
Election workers in all 33 counties were recounting ballots Thursday in the close race for state land commissioner, in the first such statewide recount. Results were not expected until next week. The contest between Republican Aubrey Dunn and Democratic Land Commissioner Ray Powell was so close it triggered a recount under a 2008 state law. Dunn won by just over 700 votes out of nearly 500,000 cast. At least one county, Quay, finished Thursday, while some counties may need to work into the weekend. Bernalillo County, with the biggest chunk of votes – more than 173,000 – is scheduled to wrap up on Monday.
New Mexico: Provisional ballots allowed in recount in land commissioner race | Albuquerque Journal News
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.
The recount in the race for New Mexico land commissioner is a step closer to getting underway. The state canvassing board met Tuesday and signed off on an agreement that spells out how the recount will proceed. At issue was how many ballots would be used to test the tabulating machines that will be used in the recount. The agreement came after several days of negotiations. Incumbent Democrat Ray Powell said Tuesday evening that his attorney was reviewing the agreement and he planned the drop his case before the state Supreme Court on Wednesday. That will clear the way for the recount to begin Thursday. “Our intention is to ensure an open and transparent process and that every vote is counted,” Powell said. The latest totals provided by the secretary of state’s office show Republican Aubrey Dunn leading Powell by several hundred votes, a margin so small it triggered an automatic recount under state law.
Attorneys for the state and incumbent New Mexico State Land Commissioner Ray Powell negotiated through Monday evening in an unsuccessful effort to resolve issues on how a recount of votes in the closely contested election for land commissioner should be conducted. A state Supreme Court hearing that was scheduled for Monday afternoon to hear motions filed by Powell regarding the recount process was postponed until 9 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, while the two sides try to hammer out an agreement. Powell has challenged the method the State Canvassing Board approved in late November for calibrating vote tabulating machines and reviewing ballots during the recount, among other issues.
Incumbent state Land Commissioner Ray Powell asked the state Supreme Court on Monday to temporarily halt an automatic recount of votes in the contested land commissioner race, alleging the state Canvassing Board has violated state law and the election code. The last unofficial election results showed Powell, a Democrat, losing by a 704-vote margin to Republican challenger Aubrey Dunn out of 499,666 votes cast, or about 0.14 percent of the votes. State law calls for an automatic recount when the margin between two statewide candidates is less than half of 1 percent of ballots cast. Dunn maintained a slim lead through post-election canvassing by county clerks and the state Canvassing Board. But Powell alleges there have been several irregularities, including the vote recount order approved by the state Canvassing Board on Nov. 25.
New Mexico: State GOP: Powell ‘manipulating’ recount in land commissioner race | The Santa Fe New Mexican: Local News
The state Republican Party on Wednesday attacked incumbent state Land Commissioner Ray Powell, accusing him of “manipulating the system” and “maneuvering of Democratic provisional ballots” in an effort to hang on to his office. The emailed fundraising appeal on behalf of GOP candidate Aubrey Dunn in the closely contested land commissioner race was sent a day after the state Supreme Court suspended an automatic recount of votes cast during the Nov. 4 general election, pending a hearing before justices scheduled for Monday. The court’s order came in response to a petition filed by Powell, a Democrat, in which he alleged that the recount procedure outlined in an order issued by the state Canvassing Board doesn’t comply with the state constitution and election laws.