Board Members, Dona Ana County, Board of Voter Registration
April 6, 2022
Subj: Board of Voter Registration
Dear Board Members,
I am at a loss here as to understanding the function of or even existence of the Dona Ana County Board of Voter Registration. We were appointed to this Board by the County Commissioners upon the nomination / recommendation of Mrs. Askins, our County Clerk. However, this board has never met, has never been given their Oath of Office, has had no opportunity to elect a Chairperson or Vice Chairperson and cannot conduct any business put before the board because we have no one to call the Board to Order or to put forth an agenda or to adjourn the board. It was my thinking that this was one of the most important boards that could be assembled within the County. Because New Mexico screams about transparency within our State Government, I am wondering how we can sit back and not even meet nor discuss Voter Registration within this County. We have ongoing efforts currently for High School Students to be registered to vote and we do not have a finger in that pie. There are efforts weekly to register individuals at the Farmers Market and we have NO FINGER in THAT Pie.
So, I just have to ask. Why is this? I hate to inform you but it is our RESPONSIBILITY to meet, to elect a chairperson and vice chairperson and conduct the business of Voter Registration. In this we already know that the County Clerks Office is responsible as per State Statutes to provide Voter Registration Information to the Secretary of State so their Data Base can be maintained. I do not see why we cannot work extremely closely with the County Clerk in the performance of her duties and at the same time provide a large amount of transparency to the County in General regarding Voter Registration.
So you tell me, what the heck are we on this board for if none of you are willing to put in the work to meet, to discuss Voter Registration and to coordinate with the County Clerk? Why are you on this board and why does this Board even exist if it is nonfunctional and doesn’t matter? I think you are under the impression that the County Clerk has authority over this Board. That is false. The County Clerk can only nominate and suggest to the County Commissioners as to who should sit on the Board. The Secretary of State has no authority over this board and indeed, if we fail to meet within two years then the Secretary of State is mandated to call the board to order. Is this how you want to operate?
I sincerely value your opinion about this. I know one of us disagrees with this entirely and I am not sure why that is as it is our responsibility to meet, to discuss our direction and know who to coordinate with and how to deal with the work of the Board.
For further information, we are told that none of the Boards Across the State meet to do business and I have to ask, why is this? The answer I get is that we have always done it this way. Well, I am here to advocate for Change. I do not care what the other Counties do. I care that we do what is BEST for Dona Ana County and if we can be the voice of change for the entire state to advocate for transparency in Voter Registration then so be it. Let us be the voice of Change. Please let me know your thoughts on this.Sincerely,
Michael S. Potts