Ballots remain uncounted

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico

There remain 57 ballots from Tuesday’s general election that may or may not be included in the final total, Curry County elections manager Coni Jo Lyman told commissioners during Friday’s canvas board meeting.

The ballots in question are under review for several reasons, she said, explaining some are absentee ballots for which identification was required, some are provisional ballots that need to be looked at by an attorney, and some were absentee in lieu of ballots that need to be reviewed.

None of the Curry County races were close enough to be affected by the 54 votes.

Lyman said she will have the final counts to the board by Nov. 14 after decisions are made on how to handle the questionable ballots.

“The election was a little rough in the fact that it was very stressful,” but Lyman said overall it went well and “we have not seen anything that causes us alarm.”

Bernice Baker was sworn in as county treasurer after commissioners voted Friday for her appointment.

Baker won the position during Tuesday’s election.

She has been acting treasurer since Rhonda Bookout was indicted nine months ago on charges of tampering with public records and ultimately resigned the position as part of a plea agreement.

She will earn a salary of $43,857, the same Bookout was earning.

“I intend to work just as hard as I’ve been working up until now, maybe harder,” she said.

Baker announced Debbie Spriggs as her choice for chief deputy treasurer. Spriggs salary will be $38,682.

Baker has 18 years experience with the county, 13 of which were spent in administration, and five years in the treasurer’s office.