A random audit of one of Torrance County’s most populated precincts was “right on,” according to County Clerk Linda Jaramillo.

Jaramillo said occasionally the county is asked to recount a precinct by the Secretary of State’s office as “a way of testing the machines—testing their accuracy.”

Workers recounted about 800 ballots by hand from Precinct 13. That included ballots cast on Election Day, as well as those cast at alternate voting sites, absentee ballots and early voting, where the audited precinct was pulled from the rest of the ballots.

After recounting four times, the clerk’s office found a discrepancy of one vote—on which the voter had filled in the circle for presidential candidate Gary Johnson. “We found one ballot that wasn’t [filled in] as dark as the rest,” Jaramillo said, explaining that the voting machine did not tally that vote, but the audit did.

“…We isolated all of Gary Johnson’s ballots and inspected each one,” she explained, adding, “We found one ballot that had all other race choices very bold and dark and the one for Johnson very light and not filled in.”
The panel of judges concluded that the voter had intended to cast a vote for Johnson.

The random test was not the result of any challenge from voters or candidates, but arose from state law.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at [email protected]