December 23, 2004

New Mexico Supreme Court Refuses Recount Unless Cobb Pays $1.4 Million



For immediate release: December 23, 2004

Contact: Rick Lass, NM Coordinator at 505.920.0540

Blair Bobier, Media Director at 414.364.1596


Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb said that
yesterday's decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court, denying Cobb's request
to immediately start a recount of the presidential vote, was an insult to
the democratic process and the citizens of New Mexico.

"We are seeking a recount in New Mexico to protect the right to
vote and ensure that all votes are counted. We came here expecting
cooperation, or at least compliance with the law, from New Mexico's Governor
and Secretary of State. However, despite broad support across the political
spectrum for an honest audit of New Mexico's voting system, we have been
stonewalled and obstructed at every step by the Democratic Party leadership
of this state," said Cobb.

"Hundreds of rank and file Democrats, along with Greens,
Libertarians, and others, signed up as observers of the recount. Governor
Richardson's actions, and the Supreme Court's tacit approval of them, are an
insult to the democratic process and the citizens of New Mexico," added

The Supreme Court's action on Wednesday, declining to hear Cobb's
petition for a writ of mandamus, upheld a State Canvassing Board decision
that Cobb and Libertarian Michael Badnarik pay the full cost of the recount
in advance; with the Board estimating that cost at $1.4 million. That
decision was contrary to New Mexico law; there is no legal requirement that
campaigns pay the full cost in advance, nor any way to accurately estimate
the cost of the recount before it is completed.

"The New Mexico Supreme Court has apparently decided it is more
interested in protecting the rights of corporations who make electronic
voting machines than the rights of citizens to ensure that their votes are
counted accurately. To call this a travesty of justice is understating the
nature of the outcome," said Rick Lass, New Mexico coordinator for the
recount effort.

"Unfortunately, this is not the first time the Supreme Court has
supported Secretary of State Vigil-Giron's blatant disregard for New Mexico
state law," said Lass, referring to a 2001 decision to redefine eligibility
for major party status which affected the Greens and other small parties in
the state.
Cobb-LaMarche Media Director Blair Bobier said that the campaign
is still "exploring all available options" on how to proceed in New Mexico
in light of the Supreme Court ruling.

For more information about the Cobb-LaMarche campaign and its
recount efforts in Ohio and New Mexico, see

No comments: