Experts question surge in possible voter fraud cases
After reporting just 37 violations to Legislature, Duran turns over 64,000 names to state police
Steve Terrell | The New Mexican
Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - 6/15/11
Secretary of State Dianna Duran has turned over about 64,000 cases of what she calls possible voter fraud to the State Department of Public Safety for investigation.
That's more than 10 percent of the 607,700 people who voted in the 2010 general election in New Mexico.
The number of potential cases handed over to the state police Special Investigations Division is a quantum leap from the 37 cases of foreign nationals illegally voting that Duran spoke of at a legislative hearing earlier this year.
Duran brought up the possible illegal voters while testifying in favor of a bill that would have required voters to show photo identification at the polls before voting. She said that in cross-checking voter registrations with a state Motor Vehicle Division database, her office had found 117 foreign nationals who had registered to vote. All of these, she said, had listed Social Security numbers on voter-registration forms that didn't match up with their names. At least 37 of those actually voted in state elections, Duran said at the time.
Duran's office admits that some of the 64,000 cases could turn out to be the result of clerical errors rather than criminal wrongdoing.
"It goes without saying, as is the case with virtually any set of data files, that there may be data-entry errors," Bureau of Elections Director Bobbi Shearer said. "Only a thorough review, file by file, will tell.
"There is no way to know what the result will be till the data are reviewed step by step," she added.