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July 6, 2012 Secretary Scott Gessler, Colorado Secretary of State 1700 Broadway, Ste. 200 Denver, CO 80290 Re: Request to U.S. Department of Homeland Security for cooperation to improve voter roll integrity Dear Secretary Gessler: The New Mexico Secretary of State’s office appreciates your efforts to work with the Department of Homeland Security to verify the accuracy of Colorado’s voter records. The New Mexico Secretary of State’s office has recently undertaken similar efforts to ensure the accuracy of New Mexico’s voter rolls; however, without a reliable means to determine citizenship, we have been unable to determine if registered voters in New Mexico were in fact citizens and eligible to vote. In accordance with the Help America Vote Act, the secretaries of state are responsible for maintaining the statewide voter registration system and ensuring accurate voter registration information and the integrity of elections. Additionally, Congress has provided a solution by requiring an exchange of information between states and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) when it passed 8 U.S.C. § 1373(c) which requires DHS to “respond to an inquiry by a Federal, State or local government agency, seeking to verify or ascertain the citizenship or immigration status of any individual within the jurisdiction of the agency for any purpose authorized by law, by providing the requested verification or status information.” New Mexico supports the initiative to work with DHS in developing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to obtain access to the Systematic Alien Verification and Entitlement (SAVE) database and/or other similar databases such as the Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC) database that contain citizenship and/or noncitizenship information to assist in verifying the accuracy of New Mexico’s voter registration information. Access to citizenship information will help restore faith in the integrity of elections, because citizens are more likely to participate if they believe the election results reflect the true will of the people. I support this initiative and stand ready to participate with any efforts in coordinating access to federal databases that contain accurate and reliable information that will assist us in our statutorily mandated duties. Best Regards,
STATE OF NEW MEXICO
SECRETARY OF STATE
Dianna J. Duran
325 DON GASPAR, SUITE 300, SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO 87501 ● PHONE: (505) 827-3600 ● FAX: (505) 827-8081 (800) 477-3632 ● www.sos.state.nm.us