In the runup to a convention featuring some of Donald Trump’s most prominent allies in his battle to overturn the 2020 election, the Democratic Party of New Mexico challenged the Republican nominee for New Mexico Secretary of State, Audrey Trujillo, to denounce extremists Steve Bannon and Mike Lindell, both of whom are scheduled to attend the event.
Both Bannon and Lindell are leaders of a sprawling effort to disrupt the election process and restore Donald Trump to power. And both are part of a mass harassment campaign designed to drive impartial election workers from their jobs and replace them with right-wing activists looking to overthrow a legitimate vote.
“There’s an old adage that you’re judged by the company you keep. Audrey Trujillo would rather associate herself with seditionists than New Mexican voters. She’s a clear danger to New Mexico and our democracy,” said Daniel Garcia, Communications Director of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.
Trujillo, who herself is an election denier, has pushed conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election. Should she win in November, she would have considerable sway over how the election is conducted in 2024 and would possess powers to subvert future elections and sow distrust in the results. New Mexico has already had a glimpse of how election-deniers could undermine the process, when Otero County refused to certify the election based on unfounded fears of election machines. Trujillo publicly asked County Commissioners across the state to follow their lead.
DPNM’s challenge comes on the heels of recent reports that elections officials are preparing for confrontational poll workers and will be receiving training on how to deal with violence at the polls. It also comes after a report that two of Trujillo’s other backers – Michael Flynn and former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne – have interviewed election officials in what appears to be an attempt to detect potential weakness in local election systems.
One recent poll found that over half of election officials are concerned about their safety and the Justice Department was forced to review more than 1,000 hostile threats against election workers over the past year.
Both the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department have also warned that spreading election conspiracies could fuel violence.
Democrat Maggie Toulouse Oliver, in contrast, is a national leader in helping combat election disinformation and protecting the safety of poll workers. Sec. Toulouse Oliver recently testified to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee as an expert witness related to “protecting our democracy’s frontline workers.” As the President of the National Association of Secretaries of State in 2020, she helped author a statement saying the “November 3rd election was the most secure in American history,” that was widely used in national media to debunk Donald Trump’s lies.