Group Rejects House Inquiry into New Mexico Election Audit | Fremont Tribune – Government and Politics

By MORGAN LEE – Associated Press

SANTA FE, NM (AP) — A congressional oversight committee said Wednesday that the prime contractor in a partisan audit of New Mexico’s 2020 election results denied requests for documents and information about the carrier. at the gate which raised concerns of potential voter intimidation.

The House committee is investigating potential intimidation by conspiracy group volunteers who are canvassing door to door soliciting Otero County voters and asking intrusive questions. EchoMail, a private company and one of the contractors previously involved in the Arizona partisan ballot review, said it would not meet Thursday’s deadline to provide information.

The House Oversight Committee had asked EchoMail in a March 16 letter to produce documents by Thursday relating to its forensic audit in Otero County, New Mexico. EchoMail responded with a letter denying oversight and any contractual relationship with the volunteer canvassing group New Mexico Audit Force, while distancing itself from the audit and providing no further documentation.

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“EchoMail does not audit in Otero County and has been engaged to provide only a data warehouse system including professional services,” EchoMail CEO VA Shiva Ayyadurai wrote.

Ayyadurai’s statements contradict numerous documents submitted to local governments and statements by New Mexico Audit Force advocates in public meetings and Telegram social media accounts, the committee noted in the signed follow-up letter. by Democratic Representatives Carolyn Maloney, chair of the committee, and Jamie Raskin, chair of a subcommittee on civil rights.

“The committee intends to get to the bottom of this so-called audit and canvassing and the threats they pose to free and fair elections,” the committee replied to Ayyadurai.

Ayyadurai has advanced conspiracy theories about the 2020 election as well as his own defeat in a Massachusetts state Senate race. He did not immediately return phone calls on Wednesday.

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat, said many Otero County residents were taken aback when approached by canvassers affiliated with the New Mexico Audit Force and in some cases claim to be county employees.

Contacted Wednesday, New Mexico Audit Force chief Erin Clements said the volunteer solicitation effort is not a “contractual” part of EchoMail’s audit, although the Audit Force The audit plans to report its findings and analysis to the county commission and provide periodic updates.

“People have a right to assert or dispel their suspicions about how they feel about their election,” Clements said of the canvassing operation. She denied reports that volunteer canvassers misrepresented themselves as county workers.

Clements advocated at several county commission meetings for a “forensic audit” of the 2020 election – specifying Wednesday that she was serving as a volunteer liaison to help the county find a qualified contractor.

“They don’t have jurisdiction over what’s going on in Otero County,” Clements said of the House Oversight Committee. “The county has authority over its own elections.”

The Republican-led Otero County Commission in January authorized a $49,750 contract for a countywide review of voter records and voter registration information. He accepted a proposal from EchoMail, one of the contractors hired by Republican lawmakers in Arizona to review the 2020 election in Maricopa County. That examination in Arizona’s largest county produced no evidence to support then-President Donald Trump’s false claims of a stolen election.

The House committee said it had indications that the contract audit and the canvassing were linked, citing a podcast appearance and telegram messages involving the New Mexico Audit Force and David Clements, a former prosecutor and public defender. 2020 election “forensic check” exams who is married to Erin Clements.

“The significant discrepancies between your claims and multiple New Mexico Audit Force filings and statements – as well as your apparent admission that EchoMail used door-to-door canvassing data – reinforce the Committee’s need for the documents we asked,” the committee wrote to Ayyadurai.

Nearly a year and a half after the 2020 general election, the United States continues to struggle with false claims about Presidential victory for Democrat Joe Biden. Ballot reviews were conducted across the country, from Maricopa County in Arizona to Fulton County in Pennsylvania.

Trump and his allies have falsely claimed that voting systems or ballot counts have been manipulated to steal the election from him. Judges across the country, on both sides, have dismissed these claims. Former Trump Attorney General William Barr said a month after the election there were no indications of widespread fraud that could change the outcome.

An Associated Press review votes cast in battleground states contested by Trump also found too few instances of fraud to affect the outcome.

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