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Election standoff ends in New Mexico county after false fraud claims threw primary certification into question


By Fredreka Schouten, CNN

The majority of a county commission in a rural swath of New Mexico on Friday voted to certify the results of the June 7 primary, ending a standoff with state officials that had set off national alarms about potential election subversion.

The Otero County Commission voted 2-1, with one of the central figures in the refusal to certify the results, Commissioner Couy Griffin, voting “no.”

“We honestly don’t have a choice,” Commission Chairwoman Vickie Marquardt said before the vote, citing the potential for fines and removal from office if the panel ignored an order from the state Supreme Court to certify the primary results.

Griffin, who was sentenced earlier Friday in Washington, DC, for his role in the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, called in to the meeting and said his “gut feeling and intuition” told him to oppose the move. He also railed against what he called the “overreach of the state government.”

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat, had successfully sought a state Supreme Court order this week to force the certification. The all-Republican commission had refused on Monday to certify the results — citing concerns about Dominion voting machines and questions about a handful of individual votes in this month’s primary.

Friday marked the deadline for New Mexico counties to certify results.

“I am relieved that the Otero County Commission finally did the right thing and followed their duty under New Mexico law to certify the free and fair results of the 2022 Primary Election,” Oliver said in a statement. “The voters of Otero County and the candidates who duly won their primaries can now rest assured that their voices have been heard and the General Election can proceed as planned.”

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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