No answers yet about Rio Rancho voting fiasco

Posted at: 11/07/2012 5:47 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News

Photo: Sally Padilla
Photo: Sally Padilla

The pictures from the air tell the story. The voting lines in Rio Rancho were a half-mile long. Some people waited for four hours to cast a ballot.

One unidentifed voter couldn't understand how this could happen.

"There are only three machines there for a tremendous amount of people. I don't understand why they only provided three machines and three clerks," the voter said.

Governor Susana Martinez didn't understand either. Once night fell, she passed out water to those waiting in line.

"It appears there is a huge disparity. You have the town of Bernalillo, which is in Sandoval County, and they have one machine less and they have a tenth of the population that Rio Rancho has," Martinez said.

One might expect that the woman in charge - Sandoval County clerk Sally Padilla - would want to offer an explanation, but you would be wrong.

KOB Eyewitness News tried to speak to Padilla Wednesday, but was told she was unavailable.

"She is working with the rest of the staff counting up the ballots today," Sidney Hill, Sandoval County spokesman said.

When KOB asked Hill what happened Tuesday night, he said it was the first time the county used consolidated voting centers and they though five of them would work.

Hill also told KOB that if more people voted during the early voting period, the lines would have been lessened Tuesday night. Hill never conceded that the county may have made some mistakes in their planning.