Supreme Court Update. City Council to Vote Again Today on RCV. Urgent Calls Needed This Morning.

Over the past ten days, community pressure has carried the day in Sandoval County and here in Santa Fe. But even with our constant pressure and advocacy from the FairVote, Retake, the SOS and NM Director of Elections, our City is doing  anything possible to stall RCV implementation. Read on for action you can take.

Big Concerns About Santa Fe RCV Progress

The Secretary of State is so concerned with Santa Fe’s lack of progress and apparent confusion about RCV that she came to Santa Fe yesterday for an emergency meeting with the clerk and city attorney. She is returning with the State Director of Elections for both hearings on Wednesday (details below). Both are firmly convinced that the RCV ordinance if implemented as proposed will absolutely yield a 50%+1 majority winner and that there is no need for an additional ‘runoff.’  Yet, our Supreme Court appeal remains in place and there is no evidence that the City Clerk is working to develop educational materials. For an excellent summary of the confusion that the City Attorney has caused and what the City needs to do to remedy this, click here. It could even be pasted verbatim into emails to the Mayor and City Council. Thank you, Craig O’Hare for this.

Here is my take on all of this and what we want to ask you to do.  

On the one hand, you have:

  • The NM State Director of Elections,
  • The NM Secretary of State,
  • A District Court Judge,
  • The director of FairVoteNM and FairVote (National)
  • The former City Attorney of Santa Fe who was the City Attorney when RCV was adopted,
  • Dominion, the software developer who has provided software and technical support to over a dozen jurisdictions that have successfully implemented RCV.

All of these experts, some of whom have no other responsibilities than to develop RCV successfully and the others who have a deep understanding of the issues and all have recommended for the city to proceed quickly and to begin to utilize the technical support available from the NM State Director of Elections and Secretary of State and from Dominion. 

On the other hand, we have a City Attorney and City Clerk, neither of whom have anything like the grasp of the issues, technology, and procedures governing RCV.  Yet our City Council and Mayor are not heeding the advice of the experts. Time continues to pass; the Supreme Court has given FairVoteNM and the plaintiffs until January 8th to submit their response to the City’s appeal. So a decision from the Supreme Court is likely a month away or more. Yet, the ballots must be submitted to the printer by Jan 12 and absentee voting is fast approaching. 

ACTION on Ranked Choice Voting

Actions on Ranked Choice Voting. Wednesday, Dec 20, 3pm & 5pm. Mayor-City Council Public Study Session, 3pm and Public Hearing with Opportunities for Comment. at 5pm. Even if you are coming to either or both of these sessions, please this morning write to the Mayor and City Council to ask them to stop stalling and withdraw their Supreme Court Appeal and begin to implement Ranked Choice Voting.  There are multiple reliable sources claiming that the City Attorney and City Clerk are undermining implementation of RCV. In Sunday’s New Mexican, Frank Katz, the City Attorney who was in office when RCV was passed provided an excellent My View explaining why RCV is constitutional and how the City Attorney is at fault for leading the City down a rabbit hole.

When you call/write: The basic message: pass the RCV ordinance being voted on at 5pm and make sure that the City reinserts the “continuing ballot” language from the original ordinance. Explain that this will ensure a majority plus one vote is achieved through RCV and eliminates the need for the second runoff proposed initially by the Mayor–which he now opposes. Click here for Frank Katz’s My View as it gives a very clear description of why with continuing ballot procedures, a majority vote is guaranteed with RCV. If you would like an excellent outline of precisely what the City must do when they vote on RCV today, click here, for a tremendous summary by Craig O’Hare, one of our Retake leaders and one of the plaintiffs in the suit that has forced Santa to implement RCV, click here.

However,if you are going to be calling either Councilor Maestas or Villarreal use the calls to thank them, as I have had ongoing conversations with Councilor Maestas and he, along with Councilor Villarreal are our champions on this. But the other six Councilor and the Mayor need to hear from us. Below is contact info for the Mayor and City Council representatives.

In solidarity and wishing you a happy holiday

Paul & Roxanne


Kelley Brennan, City Attorney: (505) 955-6511.  

District 1.

District 2.

District 3

District 4





Categories: Local-State Government & Legislation

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