The standoff that began over distrust of Dominion Voting Systems vote-tallying machines ended with a 2-1 vote in the GOP-led Otero County commission at the end of an emergency meeting.
Commissioner Couy Griffin, who is the founder of “Cowboys for Trump,” was the lone no vote. “If this is as far as our audit goes … it’s enough to prove how scared they are at the top,” he said, phoning into the meeting. Couy said “they” wanted to “look at the technology inside the Dominion machines” and hand-count the ballots as part of their “meager” demands.
Couy made headlines earlier in the day for receiving a sentence over his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. He was convicted in March of illegally entering restricted grounds at the Capitol.
Earlier this week, the New Mexico Supreme Court had ordered the commission to certify the votes after Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver (D) asked for it to intervene. She said her office also made a criminal referral to the state attorney general.
“The bottom line is that the county commission doesn’t have any authority over the voting machines. We have a legal process that has been followed to the letter here in New Mexico,” she said.
Dominion in particular has been the target of voter fraud claims since the 2020 election that have been boosted by former President Donald Trump and his allies, who have claimed that its machines were hacked to produce votes in President-elect Joe Biden’s favor. The company has vehemently denied the claims, arguing they were unsubstantiated, and filed several defamation suits.
“This is yet another example of how lies about Dominion have damaged our company and diminished the public’s faith in elections,” a spokesperson for Dominion said in response to the Otero County panel’s earlier vote to refuse the certification.
Couy himself acknowledged his no vote “isn’t based on any evidence” or “facts” but on a “gut feeling and my own intuition, and that’s all I need.” However, he also insisted Otero County has “enough evidence” to combat “what the media keeps calling unsubstantiated” in terms of fraud, citing “a great vote to our commission board” as well as canvassing efforts to root out “ghost voters and missing voters.” In addition, Couy said he believes it was “an absolute disgrace” that state officials would threaten the commission criminally.
Several countywide races were conducted during the primary, including county assessor, county commissioners for the 2nd and 11th districts, and county sheriff.