DEFIANT, SHE GOES TO GREAT LENGTHS TO COVER IT UP.
As the Democrat-controlled New Mexico legislature barrels ahead with legislation that would put the nail in the coffin of honesty and transparency in New Mexico’s elections, the corruption of the Secretary of State (SOS), Maggie Toulouse Oliver, continues to be exposed.
After hearing public testimony during a November Torrance County public meeting, the Estancia News has done a deep dive on how election results in New Mexico are finalized, or “canvassed.” It turns out the SOS has illegally centralized this process, cutting out the clerks, and breaking multiple state and federal laws in the process.
This series of articles will outline the framework put in place by Toulouse-Oliver and corrupt Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto that could be the mechanism used to illegally undermine elections in New Mexico.
WHAT DOES NEW MEXICO LAW SAY ABOUT REQUIRING COUNTY CLERKS–NOT THE SOS–TO PERFORM ELECTION CANVASSES?
During the canvass, each of the county clerks are to create a “report of the canvass” which gives detailed election results by ballot type and precinct for all the races on the ballot. State law explicitly states that the canvass report is the sole responsibility of the county clerk:
The county clerk shall: prepare the report of the canvass of the election returns by carefully examining the returns of each precinct to ascertain if they contain the properly executed certificates required by the Election Code and to ascertain whether any discrepancy, omission or error appears on the face of the election returns.(NMSA 1-2-31.F)
Next, the County Commission must review the canvass report and other election documents and accept them if they find no errors, thus certifying the election in the county. Only after this process has been completed within the county are the canvass reports to be sent up to the SOS for the completion of the state canvass, which combines the individual county’s canvass reports into the official election results for the state.
WHAT DOES FEDERAL LAW SAY ABOUT THE SOFTWARE THAT MUST BE USED IN A POST-ELECTION CANVASS?
A “canvass” takes place immediately after the election and is the process of consolidating election results, dealing with provisional ballots, and ensuring that all the paperwork reconciles with the digital result. According to the Federal Election Assistance Commission:
A thorough canvass must look beyond the ballots. Election officials examine the work of office staff and poll workers, including the completion of chain of custody forms, reconciliation paperwork, and all forms comprising the audit trail for ballots, equipment, and supplies.USEAC, “Guide to the Canvass”, page 2.
The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) also regulates the hardware and software used to create the canvass through the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (“VVSG”).
Section 1.1 of the VVSG lists the parts of the system that must be tested and certified by an accredited lab (the bolded portions refer to the parts of the system that touch the canvass):
all system hardware, software, telecommunications, and documentation intended for use to: prepare the voting system for use in an election, produce appropriate ballot formats, test that the voting system and ballot materials have been properly prepared and are ready for use, record and count votes, consolidate and report election results, display results on-site or remotely, produce and maintain comprehensive audit trail.
WHAT IS REALLY HAPPENING IN NEW MEXICO?
We know that the county clerks are responsible for creating the canvass report according to state law and we know that the hardware and software used to create the canvass must be done on certified software according to federal law. However, after a thorough review of internal communications and training documents, Estancia News can confirm that these laws are being blatantly violated by the SOS and all 33 county clerks.
In New Mexico, county clerks across the state are uploading their raw election data from their electronic tabulators into an uncertified, custom software program under the control of the SOS. The program is called SERVIS. On election night, the SOS uses the uncertified program to publish “unofficial election results” on her website (this may or may not be illegal depending on what is actually being transferred and will be discussed in more detail in the next article).
According to internal training documents, the day following an election, the clerks are to upload their complete digital record into SERVIS (Screenshot 1). Next, the results are consolidated by the uncertified SERVIS software, which then produces all the canvass documents (Screenshot 2). The clerks print the output from SERVIS, call it the canvass report, and present it to their County Commission as though they had prepared them.
It is illegal to carry out this process on uncertified software, and it is illegal for the SOS to have access to all the election data before each county has certified their election.
Multiple internal emails (Screenshot 3) were found where the SOS’s office clearly has full access to the election prior to the election being certified by individual counties.
THE TORRANCE COUNTY SAGA
Not only is the process and software being used by the SOS and county clerks to create the canvass illegal, but it is also ineffective at catching errors…perhaps by design.
To show this we need to review what happened last year in Torrance County: Following concerns expressed by the Torrance County public about the trustworthiness of their elections, and publication of an audit report in nearby Otero County which showed massive irregularities and vulnerabilities in New Mexico’s election system, the Torrance County Commission agreed to do an internal audit of the June 2022 primary to attempt to put to rest the concerns of the public.
The Torrance County audit was performed by county staff with bipartisan volunteer support from the public. The audit found massive discrepancies between the ballots and the electronic records produced by the election system. For example, the vote totals differed by as much as 25% for Republican candidates, 5 percent of the votes were missing from the voter history in the voter rolls, and several addresses of voters could not be found by the county assessor’s office. The entire presentation with the full audit results can be found here.
Following the explosive finding that there are issues at every level of the electronic election system and voter rolls which were not caught by the canvass performed by the county clerk, the public expected consequences, and changes in the upcoming November 2022 General Election. However, the Torrance County Commissioners and SOS had other plans. Rather than examining the election equipment, demanding a hand-tally of the November election, or at least a thorough examination of the November 2022 election documents prior to certification, the commissioners paid a consultant, Greg Gallegos, $1,000 of taxpayer money to attend the Deputy County Clerk’s canvass of the November 2022 election on their behalf.
According to Mr. Gallegos’s social media and website, he is an accountant, political consultant, and project manager. His current involvement in providing consulting services to elected officials and politicians might raise some eyebrows regarding the potential for conflicts of interests, but that’s nothing compared to what we found out about Mr. Gallegos from Toulouse-Oliver’s own Facebook page. According to Toulouse-Oliver – Greg Gallegos is a paid employee of her team.
It is unknown whether the Torrance County Commissioners knew they were hiring an employee of the SOS to oversee their canvass. At the County Commission meeting to certify the canvass, Mr. Gallegos gave a 60-second report on his impressions of Torrance County’s November 2022 election:
I did a real high-level examination of votes that were provided by the deputy county clerk. I don’t see any discrepancies at a high level.Greg Gallegos, November 17, 2022 General Election Board of Canvass, approximately 1:19:25 timestamp.
Details were scarce as to what a “high-level examination” included.
THE PUBLIC IDENTIFIES VIOLATIONS OF THE LAW OVERLOOKED BY THE COUNTY COMMISSION AND THE SOS’S HIRED GUN
Members of the public who attended the canvass took 20 minutes during the public comment portion of the election certification meeting to explain that the law is being violated during the canvass process:
Local resident, Shari Thigpen described what she witnessed during the canvass and it did not resemble what is required by state statute or federal guidance. She stated that no one in the clerk’s office took the time to examine any of the paper documents, but rather they downloaded a report that had been prepared by the SOS and sent to the clerk: “The Secretary of State sends the numbers to the clerk and then the clerk punches the numbers back into the computer and that’s “thoroughly examining.” Thigpen continues:
There’s no examining there. It’s literally just punching in the numbers they’re given [by the SOS]…They’re not taking the tapes, or any of the reports from election day…There is no transparency. There is no examination. I was told by the Deputy County Clerk that it is impossible to verify this number because of the [Voting Convenience Centers (VCC’s)] …So how is it that the state statute or the constitution is upheld? The VCC’s are a mistake.Shari Thigpen, observer
Local resident and canvass observer, Destry Hunt, added:
The Voter Convenience Centers have been pushed on us…before that it was actually possible for the deputy clerk to perform the canvass on her own without the SOS. The Voter Convenience Centers, by design, make it impossible for the clerk to actually prepare the report of canvass What happens is the clerk’s office inputs into the SOS’s portal the results of the tabulator tapes and provisional ballots.Destry Hunt, canvass observer
But in the end, it’s not like they are creating the canvass report…They wait for the SOS to check it. That’s not in statute. The SOS should not be involved at that level. And then in order to produce this report of canvass, they select the report and print it. So, it’s coming from this portal that’s managed by the SOS’s office. We are not preparing our canvass report like [the statute] says…So when you decide whether to approve this today, know that you’re approving something that’s in violation of statute.Destry Hunt, canvass observer
The Estancia News placed a video of this public meeting our YouTube channel in November 2022 and were surprised when it was taken down a short time later for “Violating YouTube’s Terms of Service.” The idea that YouTube would censor comments from a public meeting in a small county on a small YouTube channel was baffling at the time. However, with the recent revelations of the US House that Toulouse-Oliver was involved in a nationwide scheme to censor Americans that likely stretched across all social media platforms, we may now have our explanation as to what happened to our video.
CLERKS ARE BEING MISLED – THE CANVASS CAN AND SHOULD BE DONE AT THE LOCAL LEVEL
Voting Convenience Centers allow voters to vote at any polling place within their county, so the results in individual precincts must be separated later. According to the public comment, the Deputy County Clerk of Torrance County is under the impression that she does not have the ability to create the canvass report in her office because of the existence of the Voting Convenience Centers.
Estancia News reached out to a Dominion Voting Systems representative, Steven Bennett, and asked if their software is capable of consolidating the data, reporting the votes for each race by precinct, and creating canvass reports for the purposes of review by the County Commissions and for creation of the public record of the election. Mr. Bennet responded,
Since 2013, the state of New Mexico has been using Dominion Voting Democracy Suite in hybrid vote, vote centers, or in polling locations. It does not matter.Steven Bennett, Dominion Voting Systems representative
Since the Dominion Democracy Suite Software can produce the canvass documents required at the county level without involving the SOS, why has the SOS forced the counties to centralize the canvass on custom, illegal software and essentially removed the county clerks from the process?
Hypothetically, if the SOS or anyone with access to this software was corrupt and wanted to swing any statewide election, they could easily insert or switch votes in any county they wanted to, and the clerks and County Commissioners would have no way of knowing. This would be especially easy if one or two county clerks were also corrupt and willing to look the other way if a few extra votes appeared or were switched in their county.
The next article will delve more deeply into why the SOS might be forcing the clerks to use software under her control, instead of keeping the results within each county until they are certified.
THE TROUBLED HISTORY OF MAGGIE TOULOUSE OLIVER
Previous articles exposed how Toulouse Oliver illegally paid a sitting senator and former general counsel to the Democrat Party of New Mexico, Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto, who has been a key part in dumbing down of election laws in New Mexico. Toulouse-Oliver has also come under the scrutiny of the US Congress for her role in suppressing the first amendment rights of Americans.
We have also become aware that George Soros personally gave a maximum campaign donation Toulouse-Oliver in 2014 when she was Bernalillo County Clerk. How did a county clerk from one of the least-populated states in the union attract the personal attention of the primary funder of the left’s most radical national projects?
Taken together, these facts indicate that Toulouse-Oliver is acting out a larger agenda that has nothing to do with her oath to support the constitution or the laws of New Mexico and she uses people like Ivey-Soto to accomplish this agenda.
If she is willing to run roughshod over state statute and federal law, why should we believe that she isn’t swinging certain elections in favor of candidates who will support her radical agenda?
The next article in this series will explore the shocking details of exactly what SERVIS is, how it came about, and how it’s reasonable to conclude it is a compromised system.
If you have news tips you would like to share, email us at [email protected]
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