President Donald Trump’s legal team has filed a lawsuit in New Mexico to challenge its 2020 presidential elections results on account of the state having used ballot drop boxes illegally. The manner in which the drop boxes were implemented enabled voting irregularities, the suit argues. Earlier, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver had allowed voters to return their absentee ballots in drop boxes that were positioned outside the polling stations.
Legally, voters should have personally handed these ballots to a presiding election judge. Therefore, Oliver’s decision violated New Mexico’s election laws. The suit points out that the ballot drop boxes did not have security measures required for secured containers. According to the state’s election code, election officials have to install video surveillance cameras and adhere to a host of other security mandates before using secured containers.
The lawsuit asks the federal court to “vacate the appointment and certifications of New Mexico state presidential electors and remand to their State legislatures to allocate presidential electors via any constitutional means that does not rely on 2020 election results that include votes cast in violation of State election statutes in place on Election Day.” In addition, the suit requests the judge to order a canvas of absentee votes across the state, segregate ballots dropped off at the drop boxes, and to investigate each drop box location to ensure each drop box was compliant with the necessary guidelines, or be thrown out from the vote count.
A few months back, the Republican Party of New Mexico had filed a similar suit in the state district court, asking the judge to issue a restraining order on the use of absentee ballot drop boxes that were not being properly monitored. However, the court dismissed the lawsuit. A spokesman for the Secretary of State accused President Trump of trying to undermine the lawful election conducted in the state by filing the new suit and argued that the case was completely based on a misunderstanding of election laws.
However, Steve Pearce, Chairman of the Republican Party of New Mexico, pointed out that President Trump’s lawsuit was valid and necessary. “We have questioned these drop boxes and the entire election process where the Secretary of State seems to make up her own rules and allows violations to happen in this past election. To allow these actions to happen stains our election integrity and our very democracy,” he said in a statement. Pearce affirmed that the party worked with the Trump campaign to prepare the lawsuit.
New Mexico is among the seven states that have selected an alternate slate of electors that support President Trump rather than Joe Biden. Kelli Ward, a Republican elector from Arizona, noted that such a move was necessary since the 2020 election was filled with so much fraud and irregularities. If both chambers of Congress accept the same group of electors, no issues would arise. However, if the House and the Senate end up making different decisions, which is likely considering that Democrats currently control the House and Republicans, the Senate, then the issue of choosing a president could become complicated. In addition to New Mexico, other states that have sent alternate electors include Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Georgia, and Wisconsin.