Local Election Results Close Resulting in State Mandated Recounts


John Block likely to unseat incumbent Rachael Black and highly interesting race of GB Oliver verses Amy Barela for the Republican candidate to replace Couy Griffin too close to call with Ms. Barela leading by 15 votes.

New Mexico requires automatic recounts under the following circumstances:

An automatic recount of the vote is required when the canvass of returns indicates that the margin between the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes for an office, the margin between those supporting and those opposing a ballot question or the margin affecting the outcome of a nonpartisan judicial retention election is less than:

(1) one-fourth percent of the total votes cast in that election:(a) for that office in the case of a federal or statewide office;(b) on a ballot question in the case of a state ballot question; or(c) on a nonpartisan judicial retention election in the case of the supreme court or the court of appeals;(2) one-half percent of the total votes cast in that election:(a) for that office in the case of a public regulation commissioner, public education commissioner, district attorney or any office elected countywide in a county with more than one hundred fifty thousand registered voters;(b) on a ballot question in the case of a local ballot question; or(c) on a nonpartisan judicial retention election in the case of a district court or the metropolitan court; or(3) one percent of the total votes cast in that election for that office in the case of any other office.

NM Stat § 1-14-24 (2019)

The deadline to order such an automatic recount is upon the completion of the canvass for multi-county elections and within seven days after the canvass for single-county elections.[2] State law does not specify a set deadline for the completion of an automatic recount.

Additionally, following the general election, New Mexico requires an audit of voting systems for all federal elections, the gubernatorial election, and the statewide election (other than the gubernatorial election) with the smallest margin of victory.[4] The audit is conducted in a random sample of precincts selected no later than 12 days after the election in order to produce an error rate. If the initial audit decreases the margin of victory in a particular election and shows an error rate greater than 90%, a second audit is conducted with a new random sample for that election. If the error rate remains over 90%, an automatic manual recount is required for the election in question.

In a major surprise to many the primary results of the Otero County contested Republican primary races in several races are so close that state law will require a recall!

Results can be found on the Secretary of States Website at…

All eyes were on the Amy Barela verses GB Oliver race to replace controversial Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin. The race is proving to be a nail biter with Barela leading by 15 votes as of 11 pm with all precincts reporting.

Ms Barela when asked for a comment said that “a recount will be initiated per state law.”

Mr. Oliver issued the following statement, @15 votes short = automatic recount per NM State Law. Stay tuned - this race is far from being over. Thank you for your continued support! ~ GB”

The Secretary of States site has already flagged this race as a possible recount. 

The Democratic Primary for the candidate to run against the winner of the Republican primary for Couy Griffins seat appears to be a clear win by Stephanie Dubois by well over 120 votes.

In other races Gerald Matherly overwhelming best his opponent for Commissioner by 427 votes.

For Magistrate judges the Democratic candidates of Warren Robinson and Claudia Powell won their primary unopposed with over 1400 votes each.

Reverend Robinson will most likely oppose John Seacrest in the November General election however the Seacrest race against Burleson may also have a recount. Seacrest leads the incumbent Burleson by 59 votes.

Ms. Powell will face Suggs the Republican incumbent in the general election in November for magistrate Division 2.

In the hotly contested District Court Judge 12th District Civil Division incumbent Ellen Jessen looks victorious over Lincoln County Assistant District Attorney James Dickens.
Ms. Jessen easily carried Otero County by 261 votes and was behind in Dickens home county of Lincoln by 196 votes thus the net places Jessen as the projected winner by 65 votes. A recount MAY be triggered in the race.

The surprise results of the night is the primary race between moderate Rachael Black and hard right candidate John Block. This race has been marred in controversy with the level of attack by Mr. Block against Mrs Black, then an anonymous slam campaign against Mr. Block for being gay, and with the amount of money raised by Mr. Block a newcomer to NM State politics as a candidate was over $32,000 with Ms. Black raising over $56,000 thus being the most costly race in Otero County. 

The results show incumbent Black 2 points behind Mr. Block and one of only 2 incumbents in the state house poised to possibly loose their seat. A recount MAY result in the race as well. 

Mr. Block provided the following statement:

“I am overwhelmed by the incredible support of Alamogordo. Tonight, we showed that we can bring change to our district. Through our hard work and a lot of support, I am happy to say that with all precincts reporting, our America First campaign is victorious! I look forward to the General Election ahead, and I am blessed by all the support. I thank God for each and every one of you and our great city of Alamogordo.”

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