NM Eyes 64,000 Cases of Possible Voter Fraud

Saturday, 18 Jun 2011 04:57 PM

By Andra Varin

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Just who is voting in New Mexico’s elections, and how many times?

New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran has turned over a staggering 64,000 cases of possible voter fraud to the state New Mexico, Voter FraudDepartment of Public Safety for investigation.

That’s more than 10 percent of the 607,000 people who voted in the 2010 general election in the state, the Santa Fe New Mexican points out.

At a legislative hearing earlier this year, Duran said 117 foreign nationals had managed to register to vote, and at least 37 of them actually did cast ballots in the election.

She cited the figures while testifying in support of a bill that would have required voters to show photo identification at polling stations.

Duran’s office didn’t explain how 37 cases of suspected illegal votes had swelled into 64,0000.

It didn’t say how many of those cases were believed to be illegal immigrants voting. In most states, voter fraud cases often involve felons who have lost voting privileges.

Duran’s office said some of the cases may be due to clerical error, but didn’t estimate how many that could be.

“It goes without saying, as is the case with virtually any set of data files, that there may be data-entry errors," Bureau of Elections Director Bobbi Shearer told the New Mexican.

 "Only a thorough review, file by file, will tell,” she said. “There is no way to know what the result will be till the data are reviewed step by step."

Lonna Atkeson, a political science professor at the University of New Mexico, told the newspaper she was amazed at the volume of suspected cases

"How can police possibly investigate all these?" she said. "Is this a good use of state resources to investigate what may have been administrative errors? Why didn't she go to the county clerks first?"

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