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Thomson Letter to SOS on Voter Postcards With Exhibits

Thomson Letter to SOS on Voter Postcards With Exhibits

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Published by: Matthew Reichbach on Aug 09, 2012
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08/09/2012

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THOMSON
LAW
OFFICE, P.C.
David
K.
Thomson
August 3, 2012
VIA
FACSIMILE AND
U.S.
MAILFax:
(505)
817-8081
Diana DuranNM Secretary
of
StateNew Mexico State Capitol325 Don Gaspar, Suite 300Santa Fe, NM 87501RE: Secretary
of
State Maintenance
of
Voter FileDear Madam Secretary:I represent the Democratic Party voter protection team and other concerned voterswho are threatened to be disenfranchised by your most recent decision to include votersuppression language in your otherwise lawful process
of
clearing the voter rolls. Theobjectionable language is shown
in
Exhibits 1 and 2
of
this letter.
We
respectfully requestthat you cease and desist from sending this mailer until this matter is resolved.Let me say from the onset that we do not object to your authority or action toreduce the voter rolls in a manner consistent with NMSA 1-4-28(C). For example, youproperly sent the notices before August
8.
Your preliminary statement is correct that avoter should return the card within 28 days to confirm the voter's proper address (N.M.Stat. Ann. § 1-4-28(C)(I)). However, despite your representations in the mailing, therecipient's registration cannot be cancelled until the day after the second general electionfollowing
themailingofthenotice(N.M.Stat.Ann§1-4-28(E)(1)).This
means thateven
if
the voter does not return the card sent by the SOS, the voter may not be purgedfrom the voter roll before the 2012 election.
If
the voter has moved, she may update her address at the polls on Election Day(N.M. Stat. Ann.
§
1A-28(C)(2))-or
return the card setting out her new address (N.M.Stat. Ann.
§
1-4-28(C)(4) and (5)). See also NMAC 1.10.35.9. This statutory provisionis to allow a voter to update their address; it is not a grant
of
authority to the Secretary
of
State to require verification by the voter
of
their address. To do so is a back door attemptat voter identification.
Tel:
505-982-1873
Santa
Fe,
N.M.
87501
Fax:
505-982-8012
303
Paseo de Peralta
 
As outlined below, the instructions to the voter on the mailer are contrary to law.The mailer states, "you may be required to confirm your current address
on
the poles atelection day
if
this card is not returned." See Exhibit I attached. To compound yourmistake you made the public statement saying,
"[i]f
you receive one
of
these postcards inthe mail, please fill it out, update your address, and return it promptly. Your address andvoting precinct will be corrected and
you will remain eligible to vote."
See Exhibit
2.
The election code clearly prohibits your efforts to try and disqualify voters formismatched addresses. As stated in the Election Code, "required voter identification"means any
of
the following forms
of
identification as chosen by the voter:A. A physical form
of
identification, which may be:
(l)
An
original copy
of
a current and valid photo identificationwith
or
without an address,
which address
is
not required tomatch the voter's certificate of registration;
or(2)
An
original copy
of
a utility bill, bank statement,government check, paycheck, student identification card, orother government
document-including
identification issuedby an Indian nation, tribe or pueblo that shows the name andaddress
of
the person, the address
of
which is not required tomatch the voter's certificate
of
registration.B. A verbal or written statement from the voter stating their name,registration address, and year
of
birth-provided,
however, that thestatement
of
the voter's name need not contain the voter's middleinitial or suffix.N.M.S.A. 1978,
§
1-1-24Regarding the issue
of
a voter's eligibility, the administrative code attachedclearly shows a voter cannot be removed from the voter file as you suggest in your mailerattached as Exhibit
1.
G.
A voter whose confirmation card is returned undeliverableshall be designated on the voter file as "inactive." The designationshall be carried out only by the Secretary
of
State.H. A voter is eligible for removal from the voter file
if
the voterhas not been returned to active status, corrected the voter's address
on
the certificate
of
registration and not appeared to vote
during aperiod beginning on the date of the confirmation mailing andending on the day after the date of the second general election
that
occurs after the date of the confirmation mailing.
2 
 
I.
Cancellation
of
voter registration shall
be
by the board
of
registration and subject to the provisions
of
the election code.Upon cancellation, the county clerk shall remove the certificate
of
registration from the county register and retain
it
for
six
(6) years.
NM
ADC 1.10.35
Therefore, a voter will remain eligible to vote in the 2012 election even
if
they donot send
back
the card.
You
must omit this erroneous language from the card and correctyour public statements.
In
addition, during the upcoming election school for countyclerks,
you
must specifically advise the county clerks that they
may
remind voters to keeptheir address up to date,
but
they
may
not ask them to "confirm your current address" atthe polls.
You
also
may not
instruct the use
of
provisional ballots based
on
yourmisreading
of
the law.We
ask
that you cease and desist from sending
out
these mailers
with
thelanguage I have highlighted. Again,
we
have objection to you continuing
with
theprocess under
NMSA
1978 1-4-28 as long as you comply with
the law
and do not use
it
for a purpose
of
voter confusion, harassment or suppression.Please acknowledge receipt
of
this letter, and advise
of
the steps you plan
to
taketo correct it.Very truly yours,Thomson
Law
Office, P.C.
ac£
DAVID K.
THOMSON
cc: Attorney General Gary KingEncl.
3 

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