Sandoval County clerk speaks out about election day woes

Posted at: 11/07/2012 10:10 PM
Updated at: 11/07/2012 10:18 PM
By: Maria Guererro, KOB Eyewitness News

Photo: Sally Padilla
Photo: Sally Padilla

The Sandoval County Clerk is speaking out following the voting fiasco in Rio Rancho on Election Day.

The clerk said her office, “Did a good job.”

When KOB Eyewitness News asked if it’s fair that people stood in line for four hours just to vote, long-time Sandoval County Clerk Sally Padilla said, “Well, it might not be fair but not everything in my life is fair."

Padilla is defending her performance on Election Day. "I think I did my job. I've been doing it for so many years and I did my job as best I could," she said in a phone interview.

Others disagree, especially after the county provided five voting centers, each with three machines printing out ballots for about 80,000 voters.

“I have worked with the Bureau of Elections over the last 10-12 years here. I know how hard the ladies in the office work. But I have no confidence in our county clerk at all and the way she's handled things over the years," said Sandoval County resident Barbara Longeway.

Padilla was noticeably absent at the county’s canvassing board meeting Wednesday evening. The meeting is held the day after every election.

Padilla said she worked part of the day, but had an accident election night while checking out all the polling locations.

“I tripped and I messed up my left foot really, really bad," said Padilla.

The board approved that the clerk’s office continue to tally votes, but some are expressing concern.

"First of all, the convenience centers are new so there's going to be some issues and problems whenever,” said Commissioner Glenn Walters. “But somebody waiting in line three, four, five hours is inexcusable and we've got to get to the bottom of it. We've got to solve it not just talk about it."

It isn’t the presidential race residents are worried about now, but alleged voter suppression of conservatives.

“The smaller races are what I think are what everybody is concerned about because those may have been affected," said one voter.

Padilla won’t be county clerk for another election. She is retiring at the end of the year due to term-limits.

Sandoval County residents will be able to voice their opinion on the voting process on November 15 at the county's regular commission meeting.

That will be followed by another canvassing board meeting on November 16, where Commissioner Walters said they’ll have lots of questions for the clerk.