“I’m not organizing to go off my situation,” Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin said in a phone interview with CNN on Thursday. “Why have a commission if we just get overridden by the court docket program?”

The State Supreme Court docket on Wednesday, performing on an emergency request from New Mexico Secretary of Condition Maggie Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat, ordered the Otero County commissioners to certify the primary outcomes by Friday — the statutory deadline for county certification. The commissioners had declined to do so earlier in the week, citing distrust of Dominion voting equipment.

Commission Chairwoman Vickie Marquardt and Commissioner Gerald Matherly have not responded to CNN’s inquiries, and it can be not apparent how they intend to vote.

Griffin, a founder for Cowboys for Trump, was discovered responsible in a March bench demo of trespassing on US Capitol grounds on January 6, 2021, whilst then-Vice President Mike Pence was there. He is scheduled to be sentenced Friday in Washington.

On Thursday, Griffin told CNN that he is “not attempting to overturn an election. We want transparency.”

“The extra they check out to battle us and shut us down,” he mentioned, “the extra of a skeptic I will come to be.”

Otero County is a single of the initial identified communities to balk at certifying election benefits. The dispute in this Republican stronghold of approximately 68,000 persons has sparked fears between voting rights authorities that conspiracy theories about voting equipment and other elements of election administration have taken deep root in some pockets of the region and could direct to more disruptions this fall.

The commissioners cited their problems about Dominion voting equipment in refusing to certify the success at a Monday assembly.

“I have substantial issues with these voting devices,” Marquardt mentioned at the time. “I really do. I just will not imagine in my coronary heart that they can not be manipulated.”

On Thursday, Oliver asked the state’s legal professional general to examine the commission about various the latest steps.

In the referral to Attorney General Hector Balderas, a fellow Democrat, Oliver mentioned customers of the Otero County Fee have taken “multiple illegal actions” this month — such as declining to certify the outcomes of the June 7 principal, purchasing the removing of ballot-drop bins and voting to discontinue to the use of vote-tallying equipment.

“All county officials choose an oath to uphold the structure and legal guidelines of New Mexico,” Oliver reported in a news release. “The Commissioners in Otero County have violated the public’s belief and our point out laws via their the latest actions and have to be held accountable.”

A tiny much more than 7,300 Otero County voters solid ballots in the major, according to the secretary of state’s place of work. Counties have to certify results so nominees’ names can be placed on the November ballot. And one particular far too-shut-to-simply call regional race involving two Republican candidates awaits the certification ahead of an automated recount can commence.

Griffin has been an outspoken backer of previous President Donald Trump, and he and the other Otero commissioners before this calendar year authorized a third-party evaluation of the county’s 2020 election effects. It included an “audit force” of volunteers going doorway to doorway to problem voters. Trump gained the county by a lot more than 25 details in 2020.
An oversight committee in the US Home of Reps has requested the Justice Division to investigate the doorway-to-doorway canvassing in Otero County, citing the potential for voter intimidation. The main part of the review was contracted out to a business called EchoMail, which had been involved in a controversial assessment of the 2020 election final results in Maricopa County, Arizona. Its operate for Otero County finished early — as federal lawmakers commenced to question concerns.
A settlement arrangement amongst the county and the enterprise stated “No Election Fraud” had been discovered.

In a statement this 7 days, a Dominion spokesperson called the controversy in Otero “still one more case in point of how lies about Dominion have weakened our firm and diminished the public’s faith in elections.”

This story and headline have been current.