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

New Mexico Dems: Still counting after all this time

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/11/art.clintonobama.gi.jpg caption="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. nicholas hart

    It definitely seems Obama fans are being the divisive group in the country. If NM voting was shady, Missouri votes must have been shady too.

    February 11, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. Virginia

    In response to Jessica, from Rolling Meadows, IL The point is Barack Obama opposed the war and predicted what would happen if we invaded Iraq. It turned out he was dead right! That shows his good judgment. Also, he stood up and spoke out about it at a time when it was politically risky to do so because he was in the middle of a run for the state house. That shows he is a man of high integrity. He has an incredible web-site that could inform anyone willing to study it. One of the most impressive elements about the site is that he makes it very easy for the visitor to give him their input regarding the various "issues" our country is facing. That impresses me and shows me he is serious about wanting to bring everyone into the process of finding anwers and being a part of the solution.

    February 11, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. fellow democrat

    PS – It's only fair and politically correct for Florida and Michigan to count!

    February 11, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Hmm. Who is the governor of New Mexico and who is hw with on Super Tuesday? Very fishy!

    February 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. Clay

    This Stinks like the "Clintons", 3 ballot boxes when home over nite is not acceptable, I smell a snake or skunk...it is about momentum and not calling New Mexico for Obama the night of the election is just why I hate Politics, and the Clintons.

    February 11, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. pamsiri

    You are lucky to have a person like HILLARY to care about her country. This is a woman's year we should be proud for her confident and intelligence. Can you get over for the Iraq war?. You are stiring up for what and go a round and round never end it, better to look at good things that BOTH CLINTONS had done.It's time to end the blaming game and the war, she voted to get in for a good result and she take her respondsibity to get out and care enough to end it, GWB doesn't care even now and they want to prove they are stupid and always right. OBAMA to young to become someone big. Oprah wants to give him a dream come true episo for her next show. You are fighting for a boss just like the frogs fight. CANADA FOR HILLARY...08

    February 11, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  7. Anita

    When you say race is not playing a roll in this election,then you people are living in a La La land.ALL the African Americans are for Obama.he has all Opraha's money who happens to be an African American.
    clinton's who have done so much for the Blacks, very good way they are paying her back.How will obama justify powell's support who went to UN to make the case for this IRAQ WAR ,for which he critisize Clinton for all the time .Its ok for Powell to take this country to War because he is for Obama.

    February 11, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. EricTx

    We Latino's in Texas need to come together and vote obama. I was leaning toward hilary till I see she forced our fellow latino Solis Doyle to step down (fired for all purposes). Is this what we can expect. Hilary giving us Latino voters promises and then when she gets our vote, throwing us to the side because she got what she wanted. We need to come together as Latino's and make a stand. I am voting obama.

    February 11, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  9. Sharon Mckie-Richardson

    I can't believe they're still couting NM!!! WHY ISN'T CNN REPORTING THIS??!!! THIS IS BIG NEWS!!! I've been waiting and waiting for the results! Why can't we ever have a honest and clean election!! America, our democracy is in danger!!!!

    February 11, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  10. Petus

    am A Latino, and i will vote Obama in the Texas Primary, i was leaning 2wads Clinton before, but i just found out dat Obama is the Guy we need for President come 2008.

    He's Got more Experience, go find out!

    Si Se Puede!

    Obama 08

    February 11, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. Melissa

    To EricTx: Good for you. She replaced the Latino Solis Doyle with a black woman. Now she is looking to get the Black vote since the Latino vote is not that large in these other states with the exception of Texas.

    February 11, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  12. Ed Mann

    See what happens when the Supreme Court is not involved. People's votes actually do count in an election.

    February 11, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. Pete

    Yeh ,Solis Doyle did a lousy job,they should have goten rid of her long time ago. She stuck with her because she was loyal to her,that's more than i can say for the rest of the latinos' and blacks.

    February 11, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. Nathan

    To: Florida and Michigan Dems

    You knew the rules and what was going to happen if you went forward with your votes earlier than you were supposed to. Don't cry now that the Democratic party punishes you LIKE THEY SAID THEY WERE GOING TO BEFORE YOU HELD YOUR VOTE!!!!!!

    February 11, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  15. Freedom Seeker

    That's right Latinos.... if one minority wins ......all people win. HRC feels she has one minority in her back pocket and after she has used them ...too bad.
    Bill Richardson the Gov of MN watched the Super Bowl with Bill Clinton. I wonder what "slick willie" offered him to suppress votes.? ...It seems more than a little strange that after almost a week they still haven't been able to tell who won.....and Bill Clinton was in the mix.

    February 11, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. Ngon

    I just wonder why CNN is so biased against Clinton. What does CNN want???

    February 11, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. SPQR753

    Suddenly the expression "MANANA" has a sense of urgency unknown in New Mexico.....how sad!!!!!

    February 11, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. Ngon

    go Clinton.. go Clinton!

    February 11, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. Ann Independent FairMedia,PA

    Me smells a SNAKE and this time it may be from someone other than the Clintonton Campaign...

    February 11, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
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