This post by By Kevin Johnson originally appeared on The Fulcrum.
In recent months, we’ve gotten a crash course in the ways that our election systems are now dangerously vulnerable to partisan interference and disorder. Numerous candidates for secretary of state deny the results of the 2020 election, including several who are, or likely will be, their party’s nominee. Party operatives are recruiting biased poll workers to give their side an edge.
Events last week in Otero County, N.M. – which happens to be home to one of the nation’s largest missile ranges – highlight another troubling threat. There, the Republican-led county commission refused to certify the results of the June 7 primary election, citing general concerns and “gut feelings” about voting software, without specific evidence and in disregard of security tests confirming the system’s accuracy.
After a lawsuit filed by the secretary of state, the state Supreme Court ordered the commission to certify, which it did, with a vote of 2-1 shortly before the state-mandated deadline. State law establishes specific circumstances under which such commissions can query results submitted by the county clerk, none of which pertained in this case, the Supreme Court found. Appropriately, the rule of law took priority over the personal views of the commissioners.