Sec of State Set to Terminate Right to Vote For NM’s Leading Voting Rights Activist After 40 Years of Active Voting
Albuquerque — Diane Wood has voted in every New Mexico election since 1971, but this week New Mexico Secretary of State Diana Duran began the process to terminate her right to vote.
Just 9 days ago, Duran announced that an analysis by her office had identified 177,768 “non-residents and non-voters” (a full 15% of the state’s registered voters) whose voting rights would be terminated after a mailing to those legally registered voters was completed.
Among the first to receive a mailer was none other than Santa Fe resident Diane Wood, the Voting Rights Director for Common Cause New Mexico, a non-profit organization working to ensure fair and accurate elections in the state.
Wood received a notice in the mail at her Santa Fe home on Tuesday. The notice directs Wood to verify her voting status with the Secretary of State’s own database, “Voter View” .
However, when Wood checked her voting status there, she found that her status had been changed to “INACTIVE” in this mail purge alongside a list all of the elections she has voted in since 1992, a total of 44. Wood’s most recent vote was just 88 days before she received the notice sent to alleged non-voters.
Wood moved from Albuquerque to her current address in Santa Fe more than 5 years ago and has voted absentee from there at least 4 times during elections when she was working in other parts of the state protecting others’ right to vote.
“I’m just shocked that I took my job to fight for other people’s job to get their vote counted, and now I’m having to fight for my own,” Wood told ProgressNow New Mexico in a <a href="recorded interview.
The secretary of state’s voter purge began just weeks after Secretary Duran stopped printing new voter registration cards, leaving at least six New Mexico counties without registration forms. Now we learn that during that same time Duran was not printing new voter cards she was instead able to print more than 177,000 voter registration cards to target to those she deemed non-voters.
New Mexico has an estimated 250,000 – 600,000 eligible but unregistered voters.
“This is exactly what we have all been afraid of when the secretary of state acts unilaterally to terminate the right to vote for voters only she can identify,” says Pat Davis of ProgressNow NM. “Diane is just the first of the more than 177,000 legal voters to get this notice and it shows the incompetence of the secretary in administering our elections. How many more active voters were included in her massive purge of voters?”
“We have hundreds-of-thousands of eligible voters who we should be reaching out to to include in the process and instead Diana Duran, from day one, has spent her limited time and resources on these fool’s errands to trackdown the voter fraud boogeyman and purge our most active voters to fulfill some phantom Republican narrative.”
“If you receive one of these postcards in the mail,” Duran said in her news release announcing the purge, “Please fill it out, update your address, and return it promptly. Your address and voting precinct will be corrected and you will remain eligible to vote.”
Wood countered that all of her information is correct and has been in every election in which she has voted since the 1970s. She has no information to correct and could therefore be taken off the voter rolls without recourse.
Listen to Wood in her own words on YouTube below or through the link at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeWyfv5e_QM&feature=youtu.be
ProgressNow New Mexico is urging other voters to verify that their status has not also been inacurately listed as INACTIVE by checking the SOS’s own database at https://voterview.state.nm.us/VoterView/RegistrantSearch.do
Those who have find their status is inacurate or who have received these notices are asked to contact (505) 750-0018.