Wednesday, February 06, 2008

New Mexico Democratic Primary

Hillary Clinton, Barack ObamaPhotos by Charles Rex Arbogast/AP and Jonathan Ernst/Reuters at

New Mexico was supposed to be one of the swing states in yesterday's Democratic primary, and is it ever!

As of 10 a.m. Wednesday morning, Barack was 71 votes ahead of Hillary (out of 133,565 votes counted so far), making New Mexico the only "Giga Tuesday" state that's still too close to call. 98% of the precincts are reporting, so absentee ballots and provisional ballots must now be scrutinized. At least it's not a winner-take-all primary, which means that both candidates will get approximately the same number of committed delegates--whichever way the line falls.

In addition, today's Santa Fe New Mexican reports that many polling places in New Mexico ran out of ballots yesterday, which means that some people who showed up late in the day couldn't vote, or had to go to another polling location (if they were so inclined, after a long wait in line, and if there was still time) and cast a provisional ballot. Smacks of Florida election problems, doesn't it? At about a penny a piece (OK, let's say two cents just to pad it a bit), the Democrats could have printed 15,000 extra ballots for $300--a drop in the bucket when you consider they pay the hundreds of poll workers $150 a day.

We're not even discussing the impact of the weather--swirling snow all day and treacherous walking (at least at the Santa Fe County Fairgrounds) which made even urban voting a bit more dangerous than usual, and 33 inches of snow in Chama which has garnered that community state disaster dollars, and pretty much ground things to a complete halt.

1 comment:

SantaFeKate said...

Update from the trenches: Nearly a week after the New Mexico primary, nearly 17,000 provisional ballots are still being counted. After completion of all counting EXCEPT provisional ballots, Hillary was leading Barack by 1,123 votes. Only one delegate hangs in the balance--the one assigned for winner of the popular vote.