Up against an election denier, Maggie Toulouse Oliver made the important point, in a recent interview with the Santa Fe New Mexican, that ““If we are doing our jobs right, you never hear about us in the media, right?”
As a citizen and as a frequent election worker, I am very much of the impression that MTO, as she is often known, is indeed “doing her job right.” Directing the election-related activities of 33 county clerks is a major part of her job, but there are other parts too, such as ascertaining the credentials of lobbyists and monitoring corporations doing business in New Mexico.
But it’s the election part of her job that gets most of the press these days. That may have been true before the 2020 election was called fraudulent even before it happened by the candidate who went on to lose the presidential race. And who continues to claim that he would have won if the election had been fairly administered and has gone on to lose dozens of lawsuits attempting to overturn the election results, to demean election officials in even Republican states, and to foment an insurrection on January 6, 2021, a day that, in Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s words, “will live in infamy.”
But back to New Mexico. Maggie Toulouse Oliver is running for a third term as New Mexico Secretary of State after having served ten years as Bernalillo County Clerk. She runs against a libertarian, Mayna Erika Myers, and against Republican election-fraud advocate Audrey Trujillo.
A fair and accurate election: According to MTO’s campaign literature, “Every New Mexican has the right to vote, the right to confidentiality, and the right to have their ballot tallied correctly. According to Lea County Clerk, Keith Manes, that is exactly what New Mexicans get from our current elections. Even as clerk for a deeply Republican county, he is confident in the well-run elections for which New Mexico has become a national example. Our extensive system of checks and balances make sure that every ballot is kept safe and counted correctly.”
Attending extensive training sessions for poll workers and watching election procedures at polling places and in the cavernous voting machine warehouse on South Broadway, I have been very impressed by the rigorous care and attention that go into making our elections safe and confidential. While Maggie Toulouse Oliver’s Republican opponent would restrict absentee voting and (if she could get the Legislature to pass a restrictive bill) make voters display ID cards to vote, measures that would make it less likely that poor people would vote, MTO would expand voting access for everyone. Again quoting from her campaign materials, The people of New Mexico are worried about the future of our democracy, and honestly, so are we. We cannot have candidates, like Maggie’s opponent, silence the voices of the people for political gain.”
You could choose to follow Mike Lindell (the “pillow guy”) and Steve Bannon (the contemptuous of Congress guy) in their choice for Secretary of State. Maggie Toulouse Oliver’s opponent has stated that Trump obviously won New Mexico, since she counted signs in people’s yards. For some reason, MTO oversees elections that carefully count votes, not signs. You can guess which candidate the Pillow Guy and Mr. Bannon and their fellow Big Liars support. Or you can get out and vote – in New Mexico’s secure and prudently run election – for Maggie Toulouse Oliver for Secretary of State.