Election problems mount at SOS office

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County clerks statewide, including Los Alamos, were locked out of voter computer this week

By Carol A. Clark

With the general election just five days away, the timing couldn’t be much worse for the Secretary of State’s (SOS) office to start having major problems.
Next Tuesday’s nationwide general election will stretch to Saturday, Nov. 6 in New Mexico because the printer of ballot proofs for six counties, including Los Alamos, was behind schedule getting the proofs out. The deadline was Sept. 18 for county clerks to send absentee ballots to military personnel and residents overseas.
Los Alamos Election Manager Gloria Maestas said that a SOS sanctioned printer, which printed the ballots for all 33 New Mexico counties, was late returning ballot proofs to six counties. The printer did not return the Los Alamos ballot proof until midnight Sunday, Sept. 19. Her office did not see the proof for the first time until Monday morning, Sept. 20.
The Los Alamos proof contained a number of errors, which caused further delays as the proof was sent back and forth between the printer and the clerk’s office, Maestas said.
“This has never happened before…we can’t mail out the ballots if we don’t have them,” she said.
Maestas said 56 ballots were finally electronically mailed to Los Alamos residents overseas and in the military on Sept. 21.

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