secretary of state
Early Voting Edition
So you've probably heard of this crazy thing called early voting... ever tried it? I have. It's totally the best. You get hit with a rush of patriotic power, like, as soon as you walk in because you get to vote almost as soon as you walk in.
Seriously, though, I highly recommend it. The longest I've ever had to wait for early voting was maybe three minutes. Compared to what I saw for the primary election earlier this year—crazy long lines and wait times—and, personally, I expect there will more people this time around.
Early voting is easy. You can literally google, “early voting near me” and polling stations near you will come up on your screen. Go here and they'll even tell you what the wait time currently is! If you're concerned about time, your employer legally has to give you time off to vote.
Voting is important, particularly this election cycle. Please vote. And the sooner, the better. Good luck fam. Early voting ends Nov. 5.
Dotdotdotdashdashdashdotdotdot: High court calls on SOS to perform job as election nears
In a stunning blow to governance by partisan paternalism, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled on Friday, Sept. 19, that the Secretary of State does not have authority to remove advisory initiatives approved by county commissions from the general election ballot. This high court ruling means that citizens of Bernalillo County will get to vote on two nonbinding polling questions regarding decriminalization of small quantities of marijuana and raising sales tax one-eighth of a cent to fund mental health services.
In an oral presentation of the Court's ruling, Supreme Court Justice Barbara Vigil said New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran failed to perform a mandatory duty of her office by refusing to include county-approved initiatives on the general election ballot; the Court ordered her to do so.
If you haven't already, you'll hear more about Duran in the weeks to come. Her unsuccessful attempt to quash Bernalillo and Santa Fe County advisory initiatives via unilateral memorandum and petititions of both federal and state courts is only part of the coming Duran-centric news cycle. As the incumbent candidate for Secretary of State, Duran may already be familiar to you.
In the wake of the Court's decision, Duran issued a written statement: “We of course will comply with this order, but what it means is that Bernalillo County voters will be using a ballot printed in tiny 7-point font, just so people can be presented with a meaningless public opinion poll.” How can the opinion of voters—some of whom obviously voted for her—now seem meaningless to Duran?
Her campaign website, diannaduran.com, colorfully presents polarizing rhetoric. On a page titled "Dianna Duran v. Maggie Toulouse Oliver: The Striking—and very Alarming—Contrasts," Duran calls herself the "target" of "extreme far-left activists of the Democratic Party." She goes on to contrast herself with Toulouse Oliver using all-caps and underlined keywords like "DARK MONEY," "political consultant" and "left-wing activism and partisanship" in reference to Toulouse Oliver.
In contrast, Toulouse Oliver's minimalist campaign website, maggietoulouseoliver.com, focuses on endorsements, and finding criticism of Duran is more challenging. (On the landing page of Duran's website, an arrow guides you straight to the aforementioned "Contrasts" page.) After clicking through Toulouse Oliver's bio and thoughts on the job, the news section of her site reveals her official statement on the Supreme Court decision. And it is critical of Duran, but phrases like "overtly partisan and activist interference in the ballot creation process" and "blatant disrespect for the separation of powers in our government" pale in comparison to Duran's chart that lists Toulouse Oliver's background and experience as "Campaign Manager for Dark Money Orgs."
But don't take my word for it. Visit their respective websites, linked above, and form your own opinion. For even more insight into their educational, professional and political backgrounds, news, endorsements and campaign contribution disclosures, visit the Ballotpedia pages for Dianna Duran and Maggie Toulouse Oliver.
The Alibi encourages our readership to remain politically informed. To that end, please keep your eyes peeled for websclusive and print-edition political news and election coverage as the 2014 general election nears. And be sure to pick up a copy of the Alibi Election Guide, which hits stands on Thursday, Oct. 30. On a personal note, I've always appreciated the way Halloween and elections coincide. After all, there's really nothing scarier than citizen apathy, low voter turnout and resulting ineffective, subpar leadership and representation.
The Daily Word in airstrike plans, Alison Krauss' imposter and a hearse parade
The White House kicks off it's “It's On Us” campaign to address sexual assault on campuses.
The American Freedom Defence Initiative has placed anti-Islamic ads on a hundred NYC buses and two subway entrances this week.
Deputies in North Florida are baffled after 51-year-old Donald Spirit killed seven of his family members, then turned the gun on himself.
Alabama District Court Judge Mark E. Fuller is being pressured to resign after being accused of assaulting his wife.
After Congress gave the “OK” for a plan to arm and train Syrian rebels, the Pentagon is waiting for President Obama to approve their airstrike list.
A New Mexican woman is in trouble for violating probation after impersonating bluegrass star Alison Krauss and conning an elderly man in Arkansas out of his life savings, his house and his cars.
After two New Mexico counties went to the Supreme Court to put two nonbinding questions about marijuana and taxes on the November election ballads, Secretary of State Dianna Duran went to the federal court to intervene. But they said they won't referee this issue.
Jesus Arredondo Soto has been convicted of killing a woman and her 1-year-old son in 2010. He faces up to two life sentences, plus more than 70 years in prison.
According to a statewide ABQ Journal poll, 50 percent of New Mexico voters opposed marijuana legalization, while 44 percent were in favor.
You ever see a parade of hearses? No? Head to Michigan this weekend.
The Daily Word in hungry gators, a stegomastodon skull and a POW's return
Colleges look at fraternities to ease the pressure.
Secretary of State John Kerry sent a message to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, urging Iraqis to “come together,” as Al Qaeda-inspired militants continue their march toward Baghdad.
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, an American prisoner of war, has been returned to the states.
A priest was shot and killed at a church in Phoenix, Ariz., while another was wounded.
Bobby Lee Pearson, who was on trial for a burglary charge, died in a fight mere hours after being acquitted.
You don't want your gun? Take it to the landfill!
Two Chinese nationals were apprehended and face federal charges for trying to buy military sensors from an Albuquerque company and smuggle them back to China.
Doctors at UNM Hospital are trying to reconstruct an 8-month-old child's organs after she was allegedly raped by her mother's boyfriend.
A Louisiana tour guide likes to swim with gators … and feed them … with his mouth.
The Daily Word in John Kerry, Mayan Apocolypse, and Kitten for Christmas.
President Obama to nominate John Kerry as next Secretary of State.
ESPN analyst receives 30-day suspension for racial remarks against RG3.
New Mexico lawmaker Ben Lujan died Tuesday.
Gangnam Style became the first video on Youtube to reach one billion views.
Congrats, you appear to have survived the Mayan Apocalypse!
On that note, here are the most hilarious tweets about the end of the world.
Former U.S. Olympian apologizes for working as a call girl.
The NRA wants armed police officers in every school across the country.
The story of Graham getting a family for Christmas.
Where the voters at?
Reporter Margaret Wright took a look at the state of our secretary of state this week. And while she did, some startling numbers came up. Of 1.5 million eligible voters in New Mexico, a quarter-million aren’t registered. The percentage of unregistered voters is twice as high in low-income households.
But SOS Dianna Duran has her attention elsewhere: On the specter of voter fraud, Wright reports.
Tuesday, Oct. 9, is the last day to register to vote in the 2012 general election. Get it done!
The Specter of Voter Fraud
Despite low numbers of New Mexicans registering to vote, the secretary of state's attention is elsewhere
The Daily Word in rain, beer and tall women
Atlantis touches down.
Russians declare the era of the Soyuz.
First spacesuits sewn by women who made bras for Platex.
ACLU sues secretary of state for failing to reveal evidence of 37 immigrants she says voted illegally.
Corrales couple wins $200,000 off the lotto.
Ghost of a ghost town all that remains after Bland burns up in Las Conchas fire.
Hit songs written at expensive writing camps, hit factories.
You may be able to trap creatures again in New Mexico.
Russia finally admits beer is alcohol.
What's a calorie?
You're so vain … creative people, says this study.
Tall women get cancer more.
A racist joke from the Secretary of State’s Office?
Political action committee, the Justice League, got a packet from Secretary of State Dianna Duran about filing finance reports. It included a link to an Excel spreadsheet with a sample of how PACs should fill out their info.
That sample, says the Justice League, is racist.
The sample last name, Sheryl Powdrell-Culbertson, is a combination of Sheryl Williams Stapleton and Jane Powdrell-Culbert, two members of the state Legislature who are African American. The sample first name is Jefferson Davis, who was the president of the Confederacy.
The sample PAC represented by Jefferson Davis Sheryl Powdrell-Culbertson is the National Organization of the Beer Drinkers and Guzzlers.
Rep. Powdrell-Culbert (R-Corrales) says it was racist. Secretary of State Duran called her up earlier today, the legislator says. “I think the person that did it, first of all, was very stupid to do something like that. I’m sure that she will take the appropriate step in addressing it.”
As an African-American state representative, “you end up having to deal with some stuff that you’d rather not deal with,” Powdrell-Culbert continues, “and you have to attribute it to the person’s ignorance.”
The Justice League is calling for the immediate resignation of Duran, but the legislator says that’s too much. “I respect her,” Powdrell-Culbert says of her fellow Republican. “She respects me, and we have a relationship. She will address it.”
Rep. Williams Stapleton (D-Albuquerque) was not available for comment. The Secretary of State’s Office has not yet issued a response.
Secretary of State
The Alibi endorses: No one
Job Description: Oversees the statewide election process. Maintains lists of registered voters. Evaluates voting machines. Manages campaign finance reports. Second in line of succession for governor.