New Mexico county official convicted of January 6 trespassing refuses to certify 2022 primary results based on debunked conspiracy


“I am not organizing to go off my placement,” Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin claimed in a telephone interview with CNN on Thursday. “Why have a fee if we just get overridden by the court docket system?”

The Condition Supreme Courtroom on Wednesday, acting on an emergency ask for from New Mexico Secretary of Condition Maggie Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat, purchased the Otero County commissioners to certify the major results by Friday — the statutory deadline for county certification. The commissioners had declined to do so earlier in the 7 days, citing distrust of Dominion voting machines.

Commission Chairwoman Vickie Marquardt and Commissioner Gerald Matherly have not responded to CNN’s inquiries, and it’s not very clear how they intend to vote.

Griffin, a founder for Cowboys for Trump, was discovered guilty in a March bench trial of trespassing on US Capitol grounds on January 6, 2021, whilst then-Vice President Mike Pence was there. He is scheduled to be sentenced Friday in Washington.

On Thursday, Griffin advised CNN that he’s “not trying to overturn an election. We want transparency.”

“The much more they consider to combat us and shut us down,” he claimed, “the much more of a skeptic I will grow to be.”

Otero County is just one of the very first known communities to balk at certifying election outcomes. The dispute in this Republican stronghold of approximately 68,000 individuals has sparked fears amongst voting rights experts that conspiracy theories about voting devices and other facets of election administration have taken deep root in some pockets of the country and could direct to even more disruptions this tumble.

The commissioners cited their issues about Dominion voting devices in refusing to certify the results at a Monday meeting.

“I have big issues with these voting machines,” Marquardt claimed at the time. “I really do. I just never think in my heart that they can not be manipulated.”

On Thursday, Oliver requested the state’s lawyer general to look into the fee over numerous recent steps.

In the referral to Lawyer Normal Hector Balderas, a fellow Democrat, Oliver stated users of the Otero County Fee have taken “many unlawful steps” this month — which includes declining to certify the benefits of the June 7 main, buying the removal of ballot-drop packing containers and voting to discontinue to the use of vote-tallying equipment.

“All county officers consider an oath to uphold the constitution and guidelines of New Mexico,” Oliver said in a information release. “The Commissioners in Otero County have violated the public’s have faith in and our state laws as a result of their recent steps and need to be held accountable.”

A small more than 7,300 Otero County voters solid ballots in the main, in accordance to the secretary of state’s office. Counties need to certify effects so nominees’ names can be placed on the November ballot. And a single way too-close-to-get in touch with local race involving two Republican candidates awaits the certification ahead of an computerized recount can begin.

Griffin has been an outspoken backer of former President Donald Trump, and he and the other Otero commissioners previously this year licensed a 3rd-occasion assessment of the county’s 2020 election outcomes. It integrated an “audit pressure” of volunteers heading doorway to doorway to concern voters. Trump gained the county by extra than 25 factors in 2020.
An oversight committee in the US Dwelling of Associates has questioned the Justice Office to examine the door-to-doorway canvassing in Otero County, citing the possible for voter intimidation. The principal part of the evaluation was contracted out to a corporation known as EchoMail, which had been associated in a controversial overview of the 2020 election effects in Maricopa County, Arizona. Its perform for Otero County finished early — as federal lawmakers started to ask issues.
A settlement settlement between the county and the corporation claimed “No Election Fraud” experienced been identified.

In a statement this week, a Dominion spokesperson known as the controversy in Otero “still another illustration of how lies about Dominion have damaged our enterprise and diminished the public’s religion in elections.”

This story and headline have been up-to-date.


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