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. Frank

    Bill Richardson is maneuvering to give the state to Hillary, but Obama people are watching them closely so they cannot cheat the nation.

    February 11, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  2. FELIX

    Clinton has not won since a long time ago. Please give her NM.

    February 11, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  3. Rose

    New Mexico held their primary on Super Tuesday and each time I check, it says's 99% counted. I'm not certain what the hold up is, but the disaster in FL in 2000 was quicker.
    Governor Richardson was a presidential candidate who bowed out. I imagine he is as frustrated as the rest of us.
    Come on New Mexico, get it done!

    February 11, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. Phi

    – —

    Its hard to belive, obama got this far with no experience — In 2004 got elected Senate in and Delivered keynote address- Nothing more other than he can inspire but dont you think we need more than this

    Obam's whole campaign is based on nothing but hype and fluff..

    February 11, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. jerry johnroe

    or no mention either of the thousands of illegal immigrant votes for obama that wasnt counted yet? get a clue james....

    February 11, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. Andrew

    I agree with James. CNN needs to put in a section on that little misshap. What happened to those ballots? Who did they favor? If they favored Obama and were kept by a Clinton supporter then there are serious implications.

    By the way, STOP using superdelegates in your delegate count, CNN! Superdelegates are not committed and can change at any time. Thus, it is misleading to lump them in with pledged delegates. I can get a more realistic count at other news sources and will do so if this isn't changed.

    February 11, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. Tom H., Mt. Vernon, WA

    If it takes them longer to get it right, so be it. I'd rather have it right by taking extra time than get it wrong. Remember Florida??

    February 11, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  8. Nixon Stephenson

    Something Stinks!

    February 11, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  9. Edward

    Forget New Mexico, what is really scary is the fact that "Nobody is telling the fact

    that Obama won Kansas! What is up with all of the aviodance about Obama's win in Kansas? Kansas people........?

    February 11, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. T Rose, Parma Ohio

    Kind of like those ballot boxes that stayed with Bush-Cheney people in 2004 including Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell who just by coincidence was chairman of Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio? Same kind of thing?

    February 11, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. Mike

    The ballot boxes endorsed clinton? Wow those are some cool ballot boxes

    February 11, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. ralph tyler

    New Mexico always ranks near the bottom in education, our charming governor notwithstanding. I guess our bureaucrats just can't count. As we are fond of saying in New Mexico: "What can you do?".

    February 11, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    Exactly, James (independent)..... and that is where Clinton got her thousand vote lead late Wednesday after all other precincts in the state had reported numbers Tuesday night, but no one mentions this.

    And then there are the provisional ballots that number so many because people gave up waiting for their precincts to obtain the stupid paper ballots. At my precinct, which opened at noon, they were out of ballots before 3:30, and people were told to go vote elsewhere if they couldn't wait for a new supply of paper ballots.

    February 11, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |

    James, that is not surprising to me. Hillary is going to pull a Bush '00 on us and try to steal an election she can not win.

    I believe they go to the convention and the super delagates have to decide the winner after the popular votes goes to Obama their will be rioting and racial tension far worst then this country has ever seen.

    February 11, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  15. Bukky

    Dont care how long it takes, count them all them count them again

    February 11, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  16. Dre

    yes, I would like to read THAT story.

    February 11, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. Lynn in NM

    OK. There aren't that many people in NM. Sounds like there may be some voter fraud going on here.

    February 11, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. R. Forbes

    CNN, why don' t you do the right thing and STOP showing the delegate totals to include the SUPER-dumb delegates. You need to provide totals representative of the PEOPLE, these super delegates are NOT a factor at this point and the voices of the American people need to be heard right now. IF the super-duper delegates need to become a factor, we can cross that bridge when we get to it, but for now there is absolutely no need to give them a voice. Enough of the Clinton-News-Network, let's get some balance and integrity back into the journalism field!!

    February 11, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  19. Mark

    Hey CNN,

    Why the switch to suddenly include non-pledged superdelegates in your totals? You were NOT including them until immediately after Super Tuesday... Superdelegates are NOT pledged to any one candidate, and they are free to change their minds. The superdelegates you are including in your totals are based on a verbal statement that those superdelegates (democratic party leaders) gave at one time or another. Many of those statements were made over a year ago, when this contest seemed more like a no-contest. In a court of law, those superdelegates would NOT be admissable as evidence. They would be considered heresay, since they are totally non-binding, non-pledged, and far from guaranteed. Our political process is already confusing and misleading enough without the help of a major news network like CNN. T0o be fair, you should list PLEDGED delegates and NON-PLEDGED delegates (superdelegates) seperately, like you did before Super Tuesday. You are only hurting your own credability by posting misleading totals. MSNBC got that part right. They are only listing PLEDGED delegates, since those are the only reliably solid numbers. Moderators- PLEASE reply to this to let your readers understand your decision on this issue.

    February 11, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  20. S.A.

    The Clintons supporters are a hateful bunch. Obama supporters are about Hope and Change and not tearing down their opponent. But I noticed that the Clinton supporters name call and write mean spiteful responses. It only makes it clear why we need to turn the page from this type of politics.

    February 11, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  21. JZ

    Obama did not support the war, he clearly predicted the consequences while Clinton supported the measure and voted to deny diplomatic efforts. It matters to me because i was deployed in Iraq, I need a commander in chief that has clear sound judgement, who not just go with the crowd. Yes Clinton have a lot of baggages, they have already been given too many chances to make a difference,but no they prioritized their political career over the really important stuff.
    And Vermont Dem, shut up!! BILL clinton is the only one who clearly played the race card

    February 11, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  22. F. Lynn

    This sounds funny? It took less time for the presidential re-count in Florida than this. Are they looking for hanging chads or Illegal votes? I think there's some shananagans going on here!

    February 11, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  23. Obama Supporter

    Oh ya, I forgot, Clinton DID vote for the war in Iraq and voted for a bill that gave Bush the ability to not have to answer to U.N. inspectors...definately the kind of person that I want running my country.

    February 11, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  24. Taylor

    Wow, I can't believe they are still counting. But it's better to make sure all the votes are counted. I have a feeling the delegates will be about split.

    February 11, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  25. jw, canadian,ok

    Could we just start all over and have a national primary? Both parties seem to have hijacked the process.

    February 11, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
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