Bad Budgeting Practices in Secretary of State’s Office Hurt New Mexico Voters

Next SOS Must Make Changes, Collaborate with Legislature to Ensure Funding

For Immediate Release
Monday, May 16th, 2016
Contact: Alan Packman

ALBUQUERQUE - Bernalillo County Clerk and New Mexico Secretary of State candidate Maggie Toulouse Oliver on Monday called for immediate changes in the way the Secretary of State’s office budgets for elections in order to fix problems left by past administrations and to protect New Mexico Voters.

“It’s time to change the way business is done in the Secretary of State’s office,” said Toulouse Oliver. “While the current administration has only been there a short time, it’s clear that past elected Secretaries of State have not properly budgeted. Elections are not emergencies that need to be funded at the last minute. Elections are regular, significant milestones in our democracy and the Secretary of State needs to be able to not only properly budget for them, and the Legislature should ensure the funds needed are appropriated.”

Toulouse Oliver’s statement came in response to a letter released Monday by State Auditor Tim Keller in which he informed current Secretary of State Brad Winter of his office’s findings of chronic under-budgeting for elections over the past 10 years.

“This problem is part of an established history of bad management and mismanagement in the Secretary of State’s office,” Toulouse Oliver said. “The shortfalls and stopgap efforts are not new. It’s time for new elected leadership that can address the budget issue and ensure accountability, public trust and transparency.”

Toulouse Oliver, who has served as Bernalillo County Clerk since 2007, is running for New Mexico Secretary of State. The election for the office is being held this year to fill the vacancy created when former Secretary of State Diana Duran resigned over allegations of fraud, for which she was ultimately convicted and served time in jail. 

“There are a lot of good people in state government who work hard every day to try to make our state better,” Toulouse Oliver said. “They need leadership that supports them and creates sound policies that allow them to do good work for the people of our state.”

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Background:

Maggie has served as Bernalillo County Clerk since 2007 and has made protecting the right to vote, improving the integrity of the election process and ensuring accountable leadership her top priorities.
 
Recognizing the need for important reforms to New Mexico's campaign finance and electoral systems that allow for transparency and accountability in government, Maggie has been an outspoken advocate for the establishment of a Statewide Ethics Commission and an overhaul of how campaign contributions are tracked, reported and audited.
 
As our next Secretary of State, Maggie will build on her progress modernizing the election process and protecting the right to vote, and work to ensure public trust in New Mexico's governmental institutions.
 
Maggie is a 2009 recipient of a New Mexico Technology Excellence award. In 2011, Maggie received the Distinguished Service Award from United Voters NM and Verified Voting NM for her work in promoting election integrity. In 2012, she was named one of NM Business Weekly’s “40 under 40” young professionals. Maggie was named one of "30 Women to Watch" by MSNBC and to Democracy for America's "Dean's Dozen" in 2014 and earned Common Cause New Mexico's "Best in Government 2015" award for her efforts to pass an on-line voter registration bill.
 
Maggie grew up in New Mexico, attended Albuquerque Public Schools and received her Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of New Mexico. She lives in Albuquerque with her two sons.