County Clerk staff explain election process and security

Video: “Dominion does not go to the polls”

The vote tabulators are not connected to the internet, and anyone working at the polls or with ballots must follow strict election integrity rules, staff at the Sandoval County Clerk’s Office recently explained to local Republicans and to a libertarian.

Sandoval County Clerk Anne Brady-Romero speaks about election materials and related issues during a tour of the voting machine warehouse in Bernalillo on April 6. She stands in the postal vote counting area. (Argen Marie Duncan / Observer)

In response to concerns raised in public forums at county commission meetings, County Clerk Anne Brady-Romero, who took office in 2021, and her staff gave a detailed presentation on the voting process and security. . The Sandoval County Republican Party sent about ten members, who were joined by someone from the Sandoval County Libertarian Party.

The Sandoval County Democratic Party could have attended a separate presentation, but declined.

“We share common ground when it comes to elections,” said Elections Office official Tina Dominguez. “We support the transparency of the process.”

Deputy County Clerk Joey Dominguez, no relation, said if voters think there is a problem with the election, they should file a formal complaint with the New Mexico Secretary of State (SOS ), who sends it to the state attorney general’s office. The county does not handle complaints, but must make changes if ordered by the state.

“We are not a law enforcement agency,” he said.

The Registrar’s Office must manage the voter database according to specific rules

During an election, Tina Dominguez said, voter rolls for the area are close to changes from the first day of early voting until 35 days after the election. The only exception is same-day registration at polling stations for some elections.

On April 6, she said 1,800 new registrations needed to be processed. The clerk’s office was able to begin that day, with the exception of new voters in District 3 of Rio Rancho City Council, due to the second round of municipal elections.

Only the county clerk can process voter registration, although the New Mexico secretary of state maintains the rolls. The registration system automatically generates voter identification numbers.

Joey Dominguez said the Secretary of State’s IT team backs up the electronic voter database. The SOS also engages external auditors to verify the accuracy of the database.

Tina Dominguez said the County Office of Elections cannot remove a voter’s registration unless ordered by SOS. Asked about the accusations of an alleged 120-year-old resident who voted in a recent election, she speculated that the date of birth might have been entered incorrectly into the database.

“We’re not going to see how old you are when you vote,” she said.

Joey Dominguez said staff at the Clerk’s Office don’t have time to check every voter registration, but if they find evidence of a problem, they will report it.

The county cannot require a voter’s card

Tina Dominguez said state law only allows self-governing municipalities to require ID to vote. Counties are prohibited from asking voters for ID because they administer statewide elections, she said.

County elections are considered state elections because the state constitution defines the official structure of counties, Joey Dominguez said.

The voting machines, the ballot boxes are securely locked

Tina Dominguez said the warehouse that houses the vote tabulators and other election equipment has security cameras monitoring every corner, an alarm system and locks.

When the vote ends, she said, county deputies help bring the ballot boxes back to the Bernalillo warehouse. State law requires the presiding judge at each polling place to remain with the ballot boxes.

By law, whenever ballot boxes change hands, the name of the person in charge must be recorded.

More information:

Provider: certified on-demand voting system, separate from vote tally and registration database: Click here.

Departmental Registry: Mail-in ballots are closely monitored: Click here

County: NM SOS purchased voting machines, which have no internet connection: Click here

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