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New Mexico "fake" electors cited in Trump indictments

Man putting his vote in the ballot box for Presidental Election 2020
Creative Commons
Man putting his vote in the ballot box for Presidental Election 2020

KSFR reporter Mary Lou Cooper interviews freelance journalist Andrew Beale about his latest report on New Mexico’s fake electors. So, what are fake electors? These are individuals who submit certificates of election in a presidential race for someone who didn’t win. This happened in seven states during the 2020 presidential election—Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and New Mexico—all states where Joe Biden actually won.

The goal was to have the fake electors change the course of the election in favor of Donald Trump, either by having Congress accept the fake electoral slates or by sending the election back to the states to select the winner. The endgame was to overthrow the legitimate outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

While there are no current state or federal charges pending against New Mexico’s “fake” electors, the New Mexico Attorney General is investigating the case. In August 2023, both federal and Fulton County, Georgia grand juries indicted Donald Trump for crimes related to attempts to overthrow the 2020 presidential election. Both cases cited New Mexico’s fake electors.

When KSFR reached out to the New Mexico Republican Party, Executive Director, Leticia Munoz-Kaminski e-mailed: “We are not commenting on the 2020 electors.”

Andrew Beale is a freelance journalist and contributor to the online publication Source New Mexico.  His article “Will NM’s Fake electors be charged?” appeared there on July 28, 2023. 

NM fake electors timeline

  • Every four years prior to November general elections, New Mexico political parties choose their party’s presidential electors at state conventions.  
  • Nov. 3, 2020, US presidential elections are held.  In New Mexico, Biden wins the popular vote by almost 100,000 votes.  So it is the New Mexico Democratic slate of presidential electors which wins. 
  • December 14, 2020, New Mexico Democratic electors cast their vote for Joe Biden at the New Mexico Secretary of State’s office.  But New Mexico Republicans also try to submit their own slate of presidential electors.  Rejected by the Secretary of State, these false electors cast their own votes for Trump and send the results to Washington.  Six other states do the same thing. However, New Mexico adds a caveat to its presential certificate suggesting that its electors should go forward, pending the outcome of legal proceedings related to the 2020 presidential election.
  • On the same day, December 14, 2020, Trump and his legal team file an election lawsuit in U.S District Court in New Mexico, expressing concerns with the use of drop boxes.  The federal grand jury later calls this lawsuit “a pretext so that there was pending litigation there at the time the fraudulent electors voted.”
  • January 11, 2021:  Trump’s lawsuit against New Mexico is dropped.   
Mary Lou Cooper reports on consumer issues for KSFR as well as on politics and elder affairs. She has worked for the U.S. Congress as well as for the Nevada and Tennessee legislatures, and remains a political junkie. She worked many years for an association of Western state legislatures and was a contributor to “Capitol Ideas,” a national magazine about state government. In 2016 Cooper received a public service award from the New Mexico Broadcasting Association for her KSFR story on Internet romance scams. She has received journalism awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and from the National Federation of Press Women. She grew up in Oak Ridge, TN and received her BA from Emory University in Atlanta and her MA from the University of Texas Austin. She also holds fiction and screenwriting certificates from the University of Washington.