All VideosAll Photos

Polling Place Issues In Chaparral, Otero County, New Mexico Keep Hundreds Waiting In Line To Vote

by Ariel Bickel
Nov 6, 2012
Far South VFD & EMS Fire Station - Chaparral, NM 88081
Election night 11/6/12, voters at the Far South VFD & EMS Fire Station in Chaparral, Otero County, New Mexico, were subjected to voter suppression and disenfranchisement due to: a lack of efficient technology systems, lack of sufficient staff, erroneous challenges by poll workers, unnecessary law enforcement presence at the polling place, misinformation or inappropriate behavior from poll workers, illegal requests for voter ID or other information from voters, and other suppression tactics. Here you can see the line of voters growing, at the time that a poll official came out and asked the voters to form their line to the side of the building and into the field, away from the road. What you can't see is that the beginning part of the line stretches the full length of the front of the building, before wrapping around alongside the building and out into the dirt field, which was filled with sticker-bushes. This video was shot at sundown, sometime between 5-5:30pm. The line grew steadily from this point up until 7pm, when the last voter got into line. Candidate for State Representative District 53, Rick Little, was also caught talking with voters inside the polling place and had to be asked to leave -- this is patently illegal electioneering. A report was filed with the Otero County Sheriff's Office. The last voter left the polling booth at approximately 10:45pm. The Otero County Clerk maintains that there were no inappropriately long lines or problems at the polling location, that voters were not being disenfranchised and that no formal complaints have been made against her office, which is false. Reports were filed that night with the Otero County Sheriff's Department, the County Clerk, Common Cause, media and the national voting rights hotline service 1-866-OUR-VOTE. Further formal complaints may be filed.