February 11th, 2008
10:10 AM ET
10 years ago

New Mexico Dems: Still counting after all this time

New Mexico is still determining who won its Democratic primary.

New Mexico is still determining who won its Democratic primary.

(CNN) - They're counting votes in New Mexico - still.

Six days after Super Tuesday, when millions of voters cast ballots in 24 states and America Samoa, the winner remains in doubt in the Democratic presidential caucus in New Mexico.

Volunteers with the Democratic Party of New Mexico have been working 16 hours a day – in shifts – to try to figure out whether Democrats there preferred Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York or Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, the state party said Sunday.

"We know it is urgent to get these results completed," Chairman Brian S. Colon of the Democratic Party of New Mexico said in a statement Sunday.

The national media spotlight has moved on to primaries and caucuses in other states, including contests Tuesday in Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. Yet 227 volunteers with the Democratic Party of New Mexico are still slogging through provisional ballots - votes cast by people whose names did not appear on lists of eligible voters.

Election rules let people cast provisional ballots that will be counted as long as officials verify that the person is eligible to vote.

As it stands now in New Mexico, Clinton leads Obama by 1,066 votes out of about 154,000 cast, according to the state Democratic Party. That total does not include 17,276 provisional ballots.

The party faithful have been going through those provisional ballots – under the watchful eye of Clinton and Obama representatives – to determine how many are valid.

The party has so far determined that 2,778 provisional ballots should be counted as votes for one candidate or the other, it said Sunday. Once party volunteers finish verifying or rejecting provisional ballots – a process called "qualifying" – then they will actually tabulate results.

The final count will determine how many of 26 delegates will go to Clinton and how many to Obama. The razor thin margin so far suggests that the two candidates could split the delegates or that one will emerge with an advantage of one or two delegates.

That's not much when you consider that a candidate needs 2,025 delegates to become the Democratic Party's presidential nominee, but the extremely close race makes the New Mexico outcome the subject of more than academic curiosity – if only slightly.

The latest CNN estimates show Clinton with 1,148 delegates compared with 1,121 for Obama.

Those numbers will change after the Democratic contests on Tuesday – and after the Democrats in New Mexico finally finish counting the votes cast in that state.

"It's key that we count the vote of every registered voter," Colon said Sunday.

soundoff (244 Responses)
  1. James ( Independent )

    What no mention of the 3 ballot boxes that stayed the night at a persons house that had endorsed Clinton ?

    February 11, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. Eli, Milwaukee

    I bet Clinton is crossing her fingers on this one.

    February 11, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  3. Larry

    I am interested to see numbers of votes the dont allow because of citizenship status.

    February 11, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  4. James (Kansas)

    I guess this just goes to show that my teacher was right.

    We need stricter voting regulations, I know all illegal aliens are not voting without the right, but breaking our laws have become a pattern for many, their here illegally, steal Americans identity illegally, vote illegally, remain after being ordered to leave illegally, and some just simply get down right and dirty, selling drugs, robbery, burglary, auto theft, gang banging, destruction of property, etc. etc. etc.

    The consequences, Our government gives them jobs Americans wont do at the rates they are being paid, we give them medicaid, medi-cal, food stamps, wic, affordable housing, the right to drive, we tie law enforcements hands, and put the national guard on the borders to look out, I guess to make sure those coming illegally make it safely

    As a result Americans get a Infrastructure that was designed for half the population, now falling apart at the hinges, supply and demand driving the cost of living up out of reach, more air pollution, overcrowded schools, congested traffic, limited affordable housing, depressed wages, employment discrimination, closure of Emergency rooms, court overcrowding that denies Americans rights, etc etc etc.

    I have written every candidate to ask them simply one question: Changing the status of the 12-20 millions undocumented people in the country now to legal, how does that change the conditions on the ground the day after?

    February 11, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  5. Eileen

    Perhaps Florida should have been so meticulous 8 years ago ?

    February 11, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. Nando, Florida

    Someone tell us about the Ballots that were taken home By a CLINTON supporter???????????????????? CNN thats the real news here!!

    February 11, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  7. Amy R.

    In New Mexico a few of the ballot boxes spent the night at the home of Rio Arriba County Party Chair Theresa Martinez, whose state-lawmaker husband, Sen. Richard Martinez, endorsed Hillary Clinton.

    But Richard Martinez told a Santa Fe New Mexican reporter Kate Nash that the boxes actually spent the night in the homes of three polling-place managers. He gave no explanation for why the results from those ballots weren't reported to the state party last night and why they were instead kept overnight in officials' homes.

    And where is Gov. Richardson in all this? The Party Caucus was his idea from the start.

    February 11, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  8. GeorgeC

    How come they still counting after a week?

    February 11, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  9. An Agnostic Democrat

    So are they still searching the vastness of New Mexico for the mssing ballots kept overnight by a Clintonite disciple? The Clintons are more like Bush and Rove every day.

    February 11, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  10. Jon Cruz

    Okay, James. Please.

    February 11, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  11. Mark

    No mention of the Bush administration involved in the counting process?

    February 11, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  12. pupnannie

    I thought they gave he win to Clinton. It is in her win column on the web....I'm sure though it at all possible they will change it to obama, even if they have to cheat to do it since the media wants obama to win the nomination....Hillary will win and it will be the will of the people, not the will of the press.

    February 11, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  13. Becky

    James I find that interesting. My thought is that they are trying real hard to find a way to make sure Hillary gets this state. Bill Richardson most likely has been promised something exciting by the Clinton's.

    February 11, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. Jessica, Rolling Meadows, IL

    Is too late for Donald Trump to run for office.

    Donald Trump 08

    February 11, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  15. Gerri

    It seems like we have that same situation in New Mexico that we had during the Bush campaign in Florida. It's time out , We must have NEW BEGINNINGS with New Visions in the white house.

    February 11, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  16. mama

    James, can you prove what you're alleging? If so, do it. If not, shut up.

    February 11, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  17. AJ

    "What no mention of the 3 ballot boxes that stayed the night at a persons house that had endorsed Clinton ?"

    Where did this come from?

    There is a conspiracy under every bush!! The sky is falling, the sky is falling...

    The Obamazombies will say anything!!

    February 11, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  18. hey allons,tn

    hey james good joke (Independent ) (REPUB ) GO CLINTON 08

    February 11, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  19. Maria Dafaxina

    It is de clintons machine traing to move acros de ilegal ground to get results, that is way i vote for Hope. Obama 2008 .

    February 11, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  20. Mike O

    Hmmm, is this a 'hanging chad' moment? And what will the Democrats do if Obama continues on his current winning streak and walks in with a popular vote win, only to lose because Hillary has 'the machine' and pulls enough super-delegate votes? Or Hillary- after agreeing to follow the Party's decision on Michigan and Florida- gets them seated?

    It looks like Denver could be a royal mess. A combined ticket? Not likely; Barak would be crazy to have 'team Clinton' as Veep (and they'd consider it beneath them) and Barak would also be crazy to take the Veep slot, which would likely end his shot at the top slot for way too many years.

    February 11, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  21. Vermont Dem

    Yeah, it is always the Clinton's right? "Preacher man" Obama still has time to play the race card again at the convention. Oh.. and he didn't vote for the war, because he wasn't in the senate at the time. He misrepresents himself continually on that issue.

    February 11, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  22. Roschelle Cannon

    James, what is this comment about 3 ballot boxes being taken to someone's house...wouldn't that automatically exclude those votes?

    February 11, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  23. rw

    Smart of NM to count to take their time so that when Hillary is declared the winner, Obama and surrogates don't cry out foul, recount!

    February 11, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  24. E, KY

    It kills me that the Demorcrats think they are ready to run a country when they cant even run an election without screwing it up. This reminds me of Florida in 2000 when districts with Democrat leadership botched those elections also.

    February 11, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  25. joe

    17,000 out of 140,000 is quite a few votes. In America, every vote should count!

    February 11, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
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