BERNALILLO—Two Republican candidates who had asked for a recount of ballots in every voting convenience center in Rio Rancho and two Sandoval County precincts have narrowed their request to only three precincts in Rio Rancho.
Patrick Rogers, an attorney for Sandoval County Clerk hopeful Paul Papponi and state Senate District 9 candidate David Doyle filed an amended petition with the 13th Judicial District Court Monday night.
The two candidates, who narrowly lost at the polls to their Democratic challengers, are asking for ballots in Rio Rancho precincts 31, 36 and 72 to be recounted.
Rogers said they’re focusing on those precincts because of the Election Day troubles at the polls.
“These are three of the precincts which appear to demonstrate the largest problem caused by the county clerk and the decision to condense the number of voting booths and machines,” Rogers said.
Sandoval County Clerk Sally Padilla and the Bureau of Elections have come under fire for condensing 48 Rio Rancho precincts into five voting convenience centers. The move resulted in people waiting in line for as long as five hours to vote. Rogers said those “horrendous lines” were another reason for the Republicans’ focus on those three precincts.
Rogers said he may file an additional petition with the Secretary of State on behalf of Doyle, who was running for state office. But, he said it’s more efficient and economical to include Doyle, a state candidate, and Papponi, a county candidate, on the same petition to the county district court.
In addition to the amended petition, a hearing has been set for Dec. 14 to review a motion to strike a third person named on the Republicans’ petition. An attorney for the Democratic winners, newly elected Sandoval County clerk Eileen Garbagni and incumbent Sen. John Sapien, has asked for former New Mexico House Minority Whip Dan Foley to be removed from the petition because he wasn’t a candidate running for office.