SOS Office Moves Forward with Last-Minute Rule Making Despite Lack of Leadership
More than a month after disgraced Secretary of State Dianna Duran resigned, Gov. Susana Martinez has yet fulfill her duty to appoint a new secretary of state, but, according to a hard-to-find public meeting notice, that’s not stopping the Secretary of State’s office from holding key public hearings on voter registration rules on December 29 – three days before the proposed changes are set to go into effect.
“Only the Martinez Administration would consider it acceptable to hold last-minute hearings about ballot access three days before the proposed changes go into effect — and without an elected Secretary of State or permanent Elections Director in place,” said Democratic Party of New Mexico executive director Joe Kabourek. “Given the culture of secrecy and scandal that has developed under Martinez’s watch, it’s unfortunate, but not surprising, that Gov. Martinez is playing politics and dragging her feet in replacing Duran, leaving New Mexico voters at a loss as to whether their voices will be heard when they express concerns about the proposed regulations.”
According to the Secretary of State’s website, the office will “conduct public hearings on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM at the State Capitol Room 311 . . . to accept comments on the following rules,” which include decisions about the statewide voter registration system.
“Despite having promised transparency and good government, the Martinez Administration is offering New Mexicans nothing but secrecy and silence. New Mexico voters deserve better,” Kabourek said. “It is time that Gov. Martinez breaks her silence and names a new secretary of state; it is time that Gov. Martinez breaks her silence and responds to the new evidence against Taxation and Revenue Department Secretary Demesia Padilla; and it is time that Gov. Martinez breaks her silence and finally says whether she will even allow ethics reform to be considered by the Legislature. Silence is not good government.”