The Los Alamos County Clerk’s Office completed the required canvass process Tuesday to certify and finalize the results of the 2020 General Election.
The Canvass Board met at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Council Chambers at the Municipal Building. Canvass Board members in attendance include former County Assessor JoAnn Johnson, Cameron Counters and James Cline. Canvass Board members David Schiferl and Danielle Gardner were not in attendance.
Also in attendance at the certification Tuesday were County Clerk Naomi Maestas, Elections Manager Gloria Maestas and Senior Deputy Clerk Victoria Martinez.
As a result of Senate Bill 4 (SB4) – a new section of Election Code passed during the June 2020 Special Session of the New Mexico Legislature, relating to the conduct of the 2020 General Election under the continuing COVID-19 pandemic – a special Post-Election Board was appointed by Clerk Maestas.
The Post-Election Board met Friday, Nov. 6, to conduct a review of 50 paper and/or mailed ballots not previously tabulated, along with a review of any qualified provisional ballots. The Post-Election Board consisted of Kenneth Thomas, Barbara Calef, Mary Wilhoit, Kimberly Thomas and Janet Michel. The findings of the Post-Election Board were submitted for review and acceptance at canvass.
During the canvass process, the Canvass Board reviewed and verified the accuracy of the election results from the early and absentee locations, as well as the election day vote centers. The canvassed results proved to be a precise match between the machine tapes and the results posted on election day, with 50 paper and/or mailed ballot tallies reviewed by the Post-Election Board and accepted by the Canvass Board, and five provisional ballots added as a result of the Canvass Board’s review.
The Canvass Board issued a certificate of canvass, which will be sent to the New Mexico Secretary of State and others as required by law. The certificate of canvass and official election results have been made available on the County Clerk webpage: www.losalamosnm.us/clerk.
When asked about the process Canvass Board member Johnson stated, “Los Alamos should be proud of County Clerk Naomi Maestas and her staff. In this time of a chaotic election nationwide, the election process in Los Alamos went off without a hitch. Voters can be assured that their votes were handled in an honest, efficient manner.”
The final count of ballots cast in the 2020 General Election totaled 12,401, representing a turnout of 81 percent among the 15,223 eligible Los Alamos County registered voters.
Of the total 12,401 votes; 6,088 were cast during early voting; 5,146 were cast by mail; 1,162 were cast on election day; with an addition of 5 qualified provisional ballots.
Clerk Maestas stated, “Voter turnout in Los Alamos was the highest in the state, and our absentee-by-mail numbers vastly surpassed those of the 2012 and 2016 General Elections. Like the 2020 Primary Election, this election was held under unprecedented times, but the voters of Los Alamos proved that nothing was going to get in the way of their right to vote, proving that democracy is alive and well in Los Alamos! A huge ‘Thank You’ to the 81 percent of voters who chose to make their voice heard in the fashion that was comfortable to you!”
Elections Manager Gloria Maestas added, “We have an amazing team of staff and election workers that continually led to successful elections. Despite being faced with administering the 2020 General Election amidst a pandemic, our election workers stepped up to the challenge and did a phenomenal job in assisting our office and servicing voters.”
Clerk Maestas would like to thank all the candidates for their dedication and commitment through this election process – as well as the League of Women Voters of Los Alamos, for partnering in promoting voter registration and sharing key election information.
A special thanks to local Postmaster Jim Hunter and staff, who worked closely with the Clerk’s Office to ensure the smooth flow of absentee by mail ballots. Clerk Maestas would like to extend a special “Thank You” to all the Election Poll Workers, who spent many hours, from Oct. 6 through the late hours on election day serving voters in a friendly, professional, and efficient manner, during the unprecedented nature of conducting an election during a global pandemic.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the election workers, who are true patriots for their bravery and dedication to the election process! Each and every one of them chose to work this election during a worldwide pandemic. We all are extremely fortunate for their service!” Clerk Maestas said.
Clerk Maestas also would like to extend her sincerest appreciation to the numerous County Department staff who all attributed to the success of the election. A special thank you to each and every one of the Clerk staff: Elections Manager Gloria Maestas; Chief Deputy Clerk Adrianna Ortiz; Senior Deputy Clerk Victoria Martinez; Casual Deputy Clerk Anna Sanchez; Student Clerk Ubaldo Barela; and former Senior Deputy Clerk Francella Montoya.
Clerk Maestas would like to remind those residents who are not registered or have moved, that they can obtain a voter registration application outside the County Clerk’s Office at 1000 Central Ave., 2nd Floor, Suite 240. Voter registration services and forms also are available through the Motor Vehicle Department or online to eligible New Mexico citizens through the Secretary of State’s website: NMVote.org. The Regular Local Election is set to take place Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021.