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Official 2023 election results are in, but recounts await for close calls in some New Mexico races

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Official 2023 election results are in, but recounts await for close calls in some New Mexico races

Nov 29, 2023 | 6:45 am ET
By Danielle Prokop
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Official 2023 election results are in, but recounts await for close calls in some New Mexico races
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People cast their ballots on Tuesday Nov. 7 at City Hall in Las Cruces for local school board and municipal elections. (Danielle Prokop / Source NM)

Officials certified the 2023 local elections in Santa Fe on Tuesday, confirming just over 20% of registered voters in New Mexico elected people to positions such as school board and city council across the state.

That amounts to 250,582 voters casting a ballot out of 1,219,760 registered New Mexicans, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

The New Mexico Canvass Board has three members: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver and C. Shannon Bacon, chief justice of the Supreme Court of New Mexico. Lujan Grisham was absent, according to a press release, but the other two members voted to unanimously certify the 2023 election.

This follows canvassing by county clerks offices, which state law defines as checking if paper ballots are qualified and vote totals from precincts are double-checked. State law requires county clerks to submit the results of the canvass to county governing boards for approval, it then goes to the final state board.

Far-right conspiracies undermined the technical and oft-routine process in the 2022 primaries, after Otero County commissioners had to overturn a prior decision refusing to certify the county’s votes.

Otero County votes 2-1 to approve primary results

There was no drama at the special meeting on Nov. 14 for Otero where county commissioners unanimously certified 2023 results.

The state Canvass Board also called for automatic recounts in 39 races across 25 counties that met the  threshold of being too close to call. The 2023 Election Handbook requires a board be convened and the recount happens with both the county clerk and a district judge present. Those results undergo a second canvass process.

The State Canvass board will meet again on Dec. 8 to certify the recounts, said Alex Curtas, a spokesperson for the New Mexico secretary of state’s office.

Elections aren’t entirely over. Bernalillo County is operating a runoff election for its City Council District 6 seat between Nichole Rogers and Jeff Hoehn. Early voting will continue until Dec. 8, in the race, and Election Day is Dec. 12.

Count it again

Recounts were called in 39 races in 25 counties. Some of the recounts of a single race impacted multiple counties, which are noted in parentheses and are not repeated. All positions not numbered with a district are “at-large” positions.

Multi-county races

  • Valencia Soil and Water Conservation District: Soil and Water Supervisor (landowner) (impacts Valencia, Bernalillo, Sandoval, Socorro and Cibola counties)
  • Vaughn Municipal School District: School Board Member (Guadalupe, Torrance counties)
  • Carrizozo School District: School Board Member (Lincoln, Socorro)

Catron County:

  • VIllage of Reserve: Councilor
  • Dexter School District: School Board Member

Chaves County:

  • Town of Lake Arthur: Councilor
  • Dexter School District: School Board Member

Colfax County: 

  • City of Ratón: Commission District 3
  • Town of Springer: Trustee
  • Village of Angel Fire: Councilor
  • Ratón School District: School Board Member

Curry County: 

  • Village of Grady: Mayor
  • Village of Grady: Councilor

Doña Ana County:

  • Hatch Valley School District: Board Member
  • Las Cruces Public Schools: School Board Member District 5

Hidalgo County:

  • City of Lordsburg: Councilor
  • Lordsburg School District: School Board Member

Lea County:

  • Jal Municipal School District: School Board Member

Lincoln County:

  • Town of Carrizozo: Trustee
  • Capitan School District: School Board Member
  • Hondo School Board: School Board Member

Luna County:

  • Village of Columbus: Trustee

Otero County:

  • Cloudcroft School District: School Board Member
  • Tularosa School District: School Board Member

Quay County:

  • Village of Logan: Councilor
  • San Jon School District: School Board Member

Rio Arriba County:

  • East Rio Arriba Soil and Water Conservation District: Soil and Water Supervisor (landowner)

Roosevelt County: 

  • Floyd School District: School Board Member

San Juan County:

  • Central Consolidated Educational District: School Board Member District 2
  • San Juan College District: College Board Member District 5
  • Aztec Public School District: Capital Improvement Tax Question

San Miguel County:

  • Tierra y Montes Soil and Water Conservation District: Soil and Water Supervisor

Sierra County:

  • City of Truth or Consequences: City Commissioner
  • Village of Williamsburg: Trustee

Socorro County:

  • City of Socorro: Councilor
  • Village of Magdalena: Trustee
  • Magdalena School District: School Board Member

Taos County:

  • Town of Taos: Councilor

Valencia County:

  • Rio Communities: Councilor