Challenges await New Mexico secretary of state

Maggie Toulouse Oliver

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – Challenges await New Mexico’s newly elected secretary of state at an elections oversight agency that has been the source of repeated scandals.

Secretary-elect Maggie Toulouse Oliver may take office as soon as Dec. 9 under regulations allowing for the early replacement of the agency’s interim leader.

Awaiting the long-time Bernalillo County Clerk is a tall stack of political campaign finance filings that are flagged for possible violations, a reduced general-fund budget for the agency and lingering mistrust among politicians and the public.

Toulouse Oliver won election Tuesday and says she may call on the state auditor to help review campaign finance disclosures. She also will advocate for legislation that would depoliticize the agency by creating an independent ethics commission and implementing public financing in future elections for secretary of state.

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