LAS CRUCES – Las Cruces City Council voted unanimously on February 1 to condemn U.S. Representative Yvette Herrell, RN.M, for her refusal to certify presidential election results in two states.
The resolution has no formal power, but its text indicates that it is an important step in affirming the council’s support for democracy and the functioning of the nation’s democratic institutions.
Herrell, who represents New Mexico’s second congressional district, joined most House Republicans last month in voting against certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral victory in Arizona and Pennsylvania, the only two states to have received objections from members of the Senate and House of Representatives during the certification process.
The certification vote was delayed for several hours after it was interrupted by the deadly incursion on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.
District 3 Councilor Gabriel Vasquez read several public comments supporting the resolution, some of which said his votes promoted conspiracy theories and attempted to “thwart the will of the state of New Mexico.”
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“I consider it my duty to do my part as a public official to condemn this action,” Vasquez said. “Accountability… is really an important part of this process. ”
Vasquez said he believed the resolution was an important statement from the larger town in the Herrell District.
The first-year congressman said her votes were not an attempt to nullify the election in favor of Trump and said, “Congress does not have the capacity to nullify an election. We can. to do, however, is to draw attention to elections which have a constitutional question.
Herrell argued that electoral changes in those states were unconstitutional and “disqualified” from voters in New Mexico. The resolution argues that a state cannot deprive voters in another state of the right to vote by casting its own electoral votes.
“It is the role of the judiciary, not Congress, to make decisions on constitutional matters, including the appropriate remedies for a constitutional violation if a court determines that a violation has taken place,” the resolution also reads. .
The resolution further states that Herrell’s votes disenfranchised voters in Pennsylvania and Arizona and argued that it “sets a precedent that could be invoked by a future member of the House of Representatives to deny voters in New Mexico and Las Cruces the right to vote. “
District 4 Councilor Johana Bencomo said Herrell’s actions were aimed at disqualifying black, brown and Native voters whose participation helped Biden win in Arizona and Pennsylvania.
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“Just as I expect to be held to high standards and to be held accountable for what I do and say, and for my votes… I think this is an important public statement,” said Bencomo. “We may disagree on policies, but that’s not it.”
“Our foundations for relationships with our neighbors, friends, family or even with elected officials must be based on transparency and truth,” said District 2 Councilor Tessa Abeyta Stuve. “And that is a neutral, non-partisan issue for me.”
Abeyta Stuve said court challenges upheld the integrity of the election. Her support, she said, stemmed from the need to lay the groundwork for the truth about electoral demands. She also said she hoped to have a conversation with the MP in the future.
District 6 Councilor Yvonne Flores, who initially said she opposed the resolution because she believed it was going “beyond partisanship” and added “fuel to the fire “said she ultimately chose to vote for him after Abeyta Stuve’s comments.
Mayor Ken Miyagishima said he was initially inclined to vote no on the resolution. However, he said he changed his mind over the weekend because he believed voting yes was necessary to uphold his oath of office to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.”
“We both took this oath,” Miyagishima said of Herrell and himself.
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A spokesperson for Herrell’s office called the resolution a waste of time and told the Sun-News in an email, city council should instead focus on an “immigration and funding crisis … that pointed to the Biden administration’s actions to weaken border security and destroy more than a third of the annual revenues of the State of New Mexico “.
“Instead of drafting meaningless resolutions,” the spokesperson wrote, “the congresswoman has so far introduced two bills to maintain critical health protections at borders and save industry and jobs who provide more than billions of dollars in education funding for schools in New Mexico each year. confronted. “
Michael McDevitt is a city and county government reporter for the Sun-News. He can be reached at 575-202-3205, firstname.lastname@example.org or @MikeMcDTweets on Twitter.