Sandoval certifies contentious election

BERNALILLO, N.M. (KRQE) — Sandoval County commissioners met as scheduled Friday and certified the results of the Nov. 6 election that saw five-hour-long lines , a court fight and a pair of razor-thin outcomes.

And the results from the initial count stand and now will be forwarded to the Secretary of State's office.  The results remain unofficial until the State Canvassing Board meets to certify the final results.

Earlier on Friday New Mexico State Police carried out a judge's order and impounded the ballot boxes.

With a lawsuit looming, the ballots will be safeguarded for any recounts or other challenges.

At the center of contention is Rio Rancho where five polling centers with only three ballot-printing machines each backed up voters for hours.

Democrat County Clerk Sally Padilla said her staff requested additional machines from the secretary of state but was turned down.  Republican activists, who went to court to impound the ballots, questioned whether the debacle was a deliberate attempt to suppress voting in GOP districts .

Results as initially reported show voters elected Eileen Moreno Garbagni county clerk by 316 votes over Republican Paula Papponi.  More than 51,000 votes were cast in the contest.

In the other close race, incumbent state Sen. John Sapien, a Democrat, outpolled Republican challenger David Doyle by 90 votes out of 22,000 cast in the Senate District 9 race.

Senate District 9 also includes a portion of Bernalillo County where Sapien received 471 votes to Doyle's 414.

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New Mexico (change)

New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.
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Governor: Susana Martinez
Lieutenant Governor: John Sanchez
Attorney General: Gary King
Secretary of State: Dianna J. Durán

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