U.S. House Oversight Committee opens investigation into New Mexico Audit Force

The business conducting a doorway-to-doorway audit of Otero County voter rolls is now under investigation by the U.S. Household Committee on Oversight and Reform.

U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-New York), the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland), the Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Civil Legal rights and Civil Liberties asked V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, Ph.D., head of EchoMail, Inc., to provide data about New Mexico Audit Force and its participation in the 2020 Otero County Election Audit.

“The correct to vote is guarded by the Structure and is the cornerstone of our democratic system of government,” the Chairs wrote to EchoMail. “The Committee is investigating whether or not your company’s audit and canvass in New Mexico illegally interferes with Americans’ right to vote by spreading disinformation about elections and scary voters.”

Congress has the electricity to investigate conduct that could infringe on voting legal rights, the letter to EchoMail states.

“The Committee has examined condition voting and elections difficulties on many instances,” the letter states. “In relationship with this investigation, the Committee intends to review the will need for legislative reforms to guarantee the right to vote is guarded in advance of, in the course of and right after an election and that 3rd parties do not interfere with this proper. The Committee is deeply involved that EchoMail’s actions could undermine the integrity of federal elections and violate Americans’ right to vote.”

The Committee chairwomen request that EchoMail create documents and any other information about the Otero County Audit by March 31.

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A letter was also sent to Assistant U.S. Lawyer Typical Kristen M. Clarke, of the Civil Rights Division stating that the canvass desires to be reviewed by the U.S. Division of Justice due to likely violations of the Voting Legal rights Act as a result of alleged voter intimidation tactics, the letter states.

The referenced portion of the Voting Legal rights Act states that “No particular person, regardless of whether acting underneath coloration of regulation or if not, shall intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or endeavor to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any man or woman for voting or attempting to vote, or intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or endeavor to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any man or woman for urging or aiding any human being to vote or attempt to vote.”

At its typical conference on Jan. 13, the Otero County Fee contracted with EchoMail for $49,750 to do the 2020 Otero County Election Audit.

Otero County Attorney RB Nichols spoke out from the agreement and audit.

“The voting file can be requested for election uses and campaigning… If you ask for it and get it for an illegal goal, a person that’s not in the Voter Document Act, then you’re topic to a fourth diploma felony,” Nichols reported at the Jan. 13 conference.

New Mexico Audit Pressure volunteers commenced a canvass in February in Otero County.

Volunteers ended up accused of improperly pinpointing themselves to Otero County voters taking aspect in the audit, a assert that Erin Clements of New Mexico Audit Force denied.

“We have never ever told our canvassers to recognize by themselves as functioning for the county, and no a single is executing that,” she stated by way of email.

On March 2, the New Mexico Secretary of Condition and New Mexico Lawyer General’s workplaces issued a voter danger advisory.

On March 17, New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver posted a Twitter thread about the day’s announcement of the Committee’s investigation into New Mexico Audit Force.

“Our Business carries on to have thoughts and concerns about in which the NM Audit Power obtained the knowledge they are employing for their so-referred to as ‘audit,’ as they did not request and acquire it from us and illegally getting such data is a felony in New Mexico,” one of the Tweets in the thread states.

Considering that the audit agreement was authorised, the New Mexico Place of work of the State Auditor observed considerations which include contract oversight deficiencies, possible Governmental Perform Act violations and probable violations of the Otero County Paying for Plan.

There was also a ballot rerun that took place March 9 at the Otero County Fairgrounds without the need of incident.

The ballot rerun was one particular portion of the a few-part audit approach. Another is the door-to-doorway canvass which is currently underway and the final portion is an audit of the Otero County Clerk’s electronic gear.

Nicole Maxwell can be contacted by electronic mail at [email protected], by cellular phone at 575-415-6605 or on Twitter at @nicmaxreporter.

This short article originally appeared on Alamogordo Each day Information: Residence Oversight Committee opens investigation into NM Audit Force