Judge Rules Ranked Choice Voting Must be Implemented in Mar. ’18. Details.

In a stunning victory, Judge Thomson announced an unequivocal order for the City to move forward with RCV for Mar, 2018. But we MUST begin contacting the Mayor, Councilors and City Attorney asking them to cease legal actions, not appeal to Supreme Court and get to work. Details and contact info.

Please use social media and email to share this blog broadly. We need a full court press on the City to get to work and stop the legal maneuvers. They could still appeal to the Supreme Court.  Read on!! 

Judge Thomson was utterly thorough, direct and uncompromising in his verdict. While he acknowledged that he understood the City Councilors’ concerns about implementing RCV with much still in doubt at the time of their decision, his ruling states very clearly that the terms of the charter and the voters will for implementing RCV have been met and RCV is constitutional.

He ruled that there is no language in the charter that the only conditions that needed to be met before the City had no choice but to implement RCV were the availability of the software and that this condition had clearly been met. “All witnesses confirmed FACTUALLY (with the Judge placing heavy emphasis upon the word factually) that the software is available.”  He found that there is a “non-discretionary obligation for the City to proceed with RCV in March 2018.”  Further, he ordered that the City “can no longer delay implementation.”

Retake is very proud to have been a part of this court battle as we filed an Amicus brief in support of the suit. We want to acknowledge the leadership and unbelievable tenacity of Maria Perez, Director of FairVoteNM. Her skills, resources and unflagging push were essential to this win. Hats off to Teresa Leger de Fernendez whose legal skills were never more apparent than in her brilliant summation yesterday. We also want to thank both our Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver and  State Elections Director Kari Fresquez for their powerful and well-documented testimony.  The judge went out of his way to particularly acknowledge the importance of Director Fresquez’ testimony.  And lastly, thanks to the dozens of Retake folks who packed the court room last week and yesterday. Now we need to push, because…

BUT. And this is a huge but, the City Attorney could appeal this to the Supreme Court further delaying implementation. The strength, clarity and thoroughness of Judge Thomson’s ruling would seem to argue strongly against this strategy, but we have been surprised by the inaction of the Mayor and the City Council and the legal tactics of the City Attorney before. So Retake is asking that all of you use the contact info below and make calls AND send emails to the Mayor, the City Attorney and the City Council and ask that they:

  • Most importantly that they cease legal action and NOT appeal to the Supreme Court;
  • Immediately call an emergency meeting of the City Council for Monday, December 4 so they can begin to discuss and decide on how the City wants Dominion RCV software to implement RCV, i.e. how many candidates must be ranked? what happens when a voter votes for the same candidate as their first, second and third candidate, etc.
  • Direct the City Clerk to begin developing ballots, educational materials, and ballot instructions;
  • Immediately contact Dominion, the Secretary of State and the League of Women Voters to seek their technical support and training; and
  • Announce to the City that the City will follow the judge’s order and cease legal efforts so we can stop our advocacy and begin working with the City.

Contacting our elected officials is supremely important. I would also encourage you to use social media to spread the word, to share this post on your FB Feed and in emails to your friends, encouraging them to join the effort to advocate with the city.

This is a clear win for democracy in New Mexico I close this with a huge smile on my face.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

Below is contact information on all the City Council members, the City Attorney, and our Mayor.

MAYOR JAVIER GONZALES (505) 955-6590, jmgonzales@santafenm.gov

Kelley Brennan, City Attorney: (505) 955-6511.   kabrennan@santafenm.gov  Tell her that the legal battle should stop, she is wasting City $$ and blocking the voters will. The number rolls over to another attorney, but they will get the message. Fill the voice mail box. 

District 1.

District 2.

District 3

District 4


Categories: Election, Political Reform & National Politics, Local-State Government & Legislation

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9 replies

  1. There is to be a special city council gathering next week. Everyone please call! The city has the final say and it is not pointing in favor of RCV. Give em your mind. Thank Gonzales and Villarreal.

  2. Big victory, Paul. Congratulations! As requested, I just wrote to the Mayor and all the Councilors.

    Well done, Rae Domenico


  3. What I have learned from this and other events related to our city government is that this mayor and council, with a very few exceptions, DO NOT WANT TO SHARE ANY POWER WITH THE PEOPLE OF THEIR CITY AND THAT THEY WILL SPEND PEOPLE’S MONEYS TO DIS-EMPOWER US!

    • Actually, the Mayor and Councillors Maestas and Villareal voted FOR Ranked Choice Voting. The other 6 voted against it, so concentrate on them.

  4. This was an issue calling for action and I’m delighted that Retake Our Democracy took the initiative and action that helped so much in getting it understood and over the edge. Now it is time to educate and advocate. Training voter registrars will be an important aspect of this work and should not be overlooked.

  5. According to an editorial in Today’s SF New Mexican…A special meeting is set for 3:30 p.m. Monday to discuss what to do next.


  6. Paul,
    Have you explained in a previous post how this benefits us? If so, what was the date of the post?

    Or can someone reply with the info? Tnx.

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