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. go obama!

    Hillary didn't even read the intelligence report before voting for the Iraq war. But it shouldn't have taken two eyes to see that going into Iraq would have broken our armed forces and let Osama Bin Laden slip away. Apparently it takes a lot more than two eyes to see that, for some people. And McCain will keep us there indefinitely. Another Korea, and it seems that that is what the Republicans want.

    February 11, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  2. Gil Montoya

    Did you forget? Bill Clinton was impeached for lying, not for being the pervert that he is. That's right LYING under oath. Hillary will do the same. Hillary and Bill sold belongings from the White House upon leaving. Don't forget all the technology secrets that Bill handed over to the Chinese and put them in a position where they are today- selling us everything. The scandles that went on during Bills reign as king are many. Don't forget the hard criminals he forgave and released. the list goes on. Do you really want more of that. That is the experience that Hillary really has. Just because she was married to the president does not mean that she is capable. What if she had been married to a dentist? Would you allow her to drill your teeth? Let's finally get these monsters out of our lives.

    February 11, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. citizen

    Joyce Mosier – I agree with you.
    donna hanna -yes, absolutely!

    people think: do you clean your home first, or do you go to the neighbor's home to clean their stuff first?

    at least some rational people put their voice here!

    February 11, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. TheLeftNut


    February 11, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  5. Joost

    Remember, that as with almost all Democratic events, the winner does not take all here. Apparently, the only thing in the balance here is the 1 delegate that's due to go to the winner of the popular vote, per NM rules (this I gather from an AP news piece a few days back).

    And, of course, bragging rights about 'winning' yet another state and its momentum implications.

    February 11, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. Tenorris Turner

    OBAMA BABY................. New Mexico need to get there gameplan together. Cheaters gets nowhere. Obama is winnning anyway. Its called KARMA. So I don't think New Mexico can hurt him. The American people have already spoken. This weekend was the icing on the cake. YES WE CAN. AND WE WILL.....

    OBAMA 08

    February 11, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. AJ

    Vermont Dem posted: "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."

    Great to know there are others in this state that havent caught the Obamazombie bug!!

    February 11, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. Shelly Lee

    You know how the saying goes...............Pay backs are a ............................

    Go Hillary!!

    February 11, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. Sandy

    There was never a projected winner of NM. I think it is good that they are so precise. No matter who wins NM the delegates will probably be even. Amazing how Obama supporters cry foul when something doesn't go their way. Grow up kiddies.

    February 11, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. ARMY Lt. Col


    February 11, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. Leen

    Better to take their time and GET IT RIGHT, than rush and screw it up. I agree with a lot of the posters that there is probably a little more to this than anyone is admitting. Thus the need for very close examination of the votes. I'm willing to wait for correct results.

    February 11, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  12. Mike

    Isn't it great he was against the war. Oh wait he wasn't even around to vote on it. That's a nice luxury to have.

    February 11, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  13. Seattle Sue Seattle, Wa.

    They must count real slow in New Mexico. I don't think the caucus is fair, I live in the state of Washington and we had a primary and a caucus but your vote is worthless if you don't vote at the caucus. Doesn't the DNC and RNC know that a lot of voters has to work . I used to think it was just the GOP that disenfranchised voters, but now I see both parties does this practice.

    February 11, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  14. brc272

    Everytime I hear someone say "Yes We Can" I have a vision of "Sieg Heil!"

    Don't drink the Cool Aid!

    February 11, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. JC

    laughable! You people are so funny! There are so many people involved with the counting that they can't be swayed to lie! Seesh! Get a grip! Obama is not always the choice you know.

    February 11, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  16. Kentucky

    I hope Kentucky gets a chance to vote for Hillary.

    February 11, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  17. tomdavie

    i too have to admit Im finding it hard to believe it takes 6 days to count 17,000 provisional ballots.

    Its not about counting. Its about how legal they are.

    February 11, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. Friend from Germany

    For everyone who would like to know what the CLINTONS are ready to do to get the nomination just WATCH:


    Its all you need to know!

    February 11, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. Mike

    I guess it is important to know who won, but won't the delegates just get split right down the middle if its sooo close? Seems unlikely either side would try to cheat when there is no real benefit from it at this point. Isn't this primary old news and not much momentum would be gained?

    February 11, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. Matt Youngmark

    For the record, provisional ballots are given out when there's any issue at the polling place – this is not likely to be a bunch of illegal immigrants voting. I got a provisional ballot in Washington in 2004 because I had moved but my change of address hadn't caught up with me yet, so I wasn't listed as being in that precinct. Normally, provisional ballots are only counted when there are enough of them in a given precinct to potentially change the results – then, they have to be not only counted, but someone has to verify what the original issue was and that they are indeed legitimate, which obviously can take some time. So relax – it's not a conspiracy, just a close election, and it looks like they're doing their best to make sure they get it right.

    February 11, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  21. Jay

    Mr. Obama will never become President of the United States of America. The Republicans will destroy him in the general.

    February 11, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  22. R.L.H.

    And they complained about Florida!

    February 11, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. PJM dems

    Caucus states the BO won are more likely to cheat, under 18 voter, no verification of qualifying, simple amazing. No wonder he won these states. Primaries are more democratic and represent the voter view more accruately. Fact, and super deligates know it. So sad, too bad. Clinton will prevail.

    February 11, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  24. rahila

    To Charlotte:

    Give it a rest will you with all this race card nonsense. Does he have to deny his heritage just so he does not appear to be "playing the race card"? when is all this going to stop.

    If you were watching the same event, Hillary gave a very good speech and she mentioned the fact that people before Obama and her gave them the chance to be running for president. So what card was she playing?

    Last time I checked MlK and slavery is American history and not only black history and he should be free to mention that at anytime without being bashed for playing the so called " race card".

    Give it a rest will you? Please do and let history be!

    February 11, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  25. John, NC

    Still... we lead!

    Vote for SUBSTANCE

    Vote HILLARY '08 !!!

    February 11, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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