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NM: Dem in House race ahead by just one vote

By Rob Nikolewski | Capitol Report New Mexico

Think that one vote can’t make a difference?

Consider the case of the New Mexico state House of Representatives race between Democrat Joanne Ferrary and incumbent Republican Terry McMillan.

As of 3:35 p.m. on Thursday (Nov. 8th) — two days after Election Day — Ferrary leads McMillan by one vote.

“We’re still counting absentees right now,” Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins told Capitol Report New Mexico Thursday afternoon by telephone.

Originally, Ferrary clung to a 12-vote lead late Tuesday night but counting absentee votes has reduced her lead to one.

At 10 a.m. Friday, the county clerk’s office will conduct a canvass of the provisional votes in the county and count the number of votes that apply to the McMillan-Ferrary race.

But that won’t end the process. In New Mexico, should the margin of victory be less than one-tenth of one percent of the total votes cast, an automatic recount is ordered.

“There is no question that race will go a recount,” Ellins said. More than 12,400 votes were cast in the Ferrary-McMillan face-off.

Once the canvass is done, the county clerk sends the results to the Secretary of State’s Office and then the State Canvassing Board will meet on Nov. 27 to issue a recount order. From there, the Doña Ana County Clerk has 10 days from the time it receives the order to conduct the recount.

The upshot? We won’t get an official winner until early December.

“Of course I want to win,” McMillan said Thursday. “We hope it will turn my way but the most important thing is to have the process go smoothly and correctly.”

“I think things will work out just great,” Ferrary said. “We were up 12 at one point but I think our gains will continue … I just think people really did want me to win, even though it’s close.”

Both candidates raised a healthy amount of money in the race, with McMillan raising $81,150 according to the most recent campaign data from the Secretary of State’s Office. Ferrary has raised $80,323. Outside political action committees from both sides also spent money attacking the candidates.

There is one other House race that may go to a recount:

Republican Paul Pacheco leads Democrat Marci Blaze in the Albuquerque-Rio Rancho area by 69 votes in House District 23 — one vote outside the one-tenth of one percent margin.

As it stands after Tuesday night, should Pacheco hang on for Republicans and Ferrary hang on for Democrats, House Democrats will have a 39-31 edge on Republicans in that chamber. Democrats had a 36-33 lead (with one Independent member) going into the 2012 races.

View the original article here

Categories: Elections, Must Read
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