Monday, November 3, 2008

Bernalillo County Clerk Dismisses Allegations of Voter Disenfranchisement.

Despite slow mail service, officials in Bernalillo County are taking measures to make sure anyone who wants to vote can vote. In this interview Toulouse-Oliver disputes claims she's disenfranchising Republican voters by not mailing them absentee ballots, and told us in some instances her office will accept ballots via email and fax.

Deputy Clerk Robert Adams told me at least 800 absentee ballots were sent overnight beginning on Thursday, at county taxpayer expense, to voters who claim they had not received their ballots in the mail.

Adams also clarified the clerk's statement about accepting ballots via fax and email, and said it only applies to members of the military stationed overseas.

Adams also said in rare cases, and under certain circumstances the county will pick up the return tab for voters who need to send their ballots back using an overnight service.

During a morning press briefing, County Clerk Maggie Toulouse-Oliver said her staff is so committed to getting every one's vote counted that some employees have hand-delivered ballots to hospital patients.

Meanwhile, Toulouse-Oliver told reporters that volunteers have already counted 66,000 of the 92,000 ballots mailed. She said the warehouse had received another 5,200 ballots this morning, and she expected them to be counted by the end of the day.

Listen to the complete press briefing here:

The clerk reported only 26 absentee ballots have been set aside for a hand count and there are between 20 to 40 challengers, made up of volunteers from both parties, prepared to observe that process and any provisional ballot review from early voting sites.

By 10 am this morning, all the early voting machines had been delivered to the warehouse and it is expected that they will be tabulated beginning Tuesday morning.

Toulouse-Oliver said there are 187 voting locations set up for tomorrow. She reminded voters not to wear any campaign clothing and encouraged anyone with questions to visit her website here.

UPDATED - 4:06 PM.

In a related item, the NY Times political blog, The Caucus, is reporting this item from Florida.
In a portend of what could be coming if the election is close, the McCain campaign filed a lawsuit in federal court in Virginia, demanding that the State Board of Elections accept absentee ballots from members of the military stationed overseas sent by Nov. 4 and received as late as Nov. 14, charging that the state sent out its absentee ballots late.

“This lawsuit,” said Gail Gitcho, a spokeswoman for the McCain campaign, “seeks to protect the right of U.S. servicemen and women to cast their vote and have them counted.”



jason said...

It's November 4th. I never received my absentee ballot, even though it "went out on the 23rd" according to the Clerk's office.

I am now unable to vote due to the incompetence or outright fraud of the New Mexico County Clerk.

I guess I wasn't offered the overnight option because I didn't say the secret word in the two phone calls I made?

It will be interesting to see exactly how many people didn't receive their ballots on time, and to which party those people belonged.

There will be a reckoning for this. You've stolen my vote.

jason said...

This is the first time I haven't voted. First fucking time since I was able.

I'm not standing for this.