Editor’s Note: This article was done in collaboration with our partners at the Daily Lobo.
Focusing on the integrity of the voting process will be part of attorney JoHanna Cox’s first steps to run for New Mexico Secretary of State.
“There are several different locations where people’s votes weren’t counted that people weren’t able to even get to polling locations, because they didn’t know about them or where they were located,” she said.
On Jan. 11, Cox announced her candidacy for New Mexico Secretary of State, planning to run as a Republican.
If she is elected, she said she is “going to make sure everybody gets to vote.”
Additionally, Cox’s goals are to ensure that when every citizen exercises their right to vote that all votes are counted correctly, she said.
Some major points Cox would like to address if elected include: ensuring that voting locations are communicated clearly so voters do not go to the wrong county to vote, as well as addressing individuals who receive ballets despite no longer living in New Mexico, she said.
Cox has already began devising how she would address these goals.
“There’s a couple of things that could happen,” she said. “One with regards to making sure it’s a New Mexico person, we could go through and clear out the voter registration. So a person that should not be on the list because they passed away or they no longer reside in New Mexico, their name could be removed so they’re not getting ballets where other people are potentially voting in their name.”
Cox said she is available on all social media platforms and has a website which will provide more transparency for the Secretary of State’s Office, especially as the campaign becomes more active.
In her press release, Cox referred to her undergraduate work at Colorado State University and her Bachelor of Science degree in finance, as well as her law degree from the University of North Dakota. In the release, she cites her experience as an Assistant District Attorney in Valencia County, her position as Deputy District Attorney for the First Judicial District and her work in civil litigation firms based on Albuquerque.
“As a Deputy DA I was responsible for government money and government people. My background is in finance, so I understand how money works,” Cox said.
In her press release Cox said she believes the role of Secretary of State should be one that does not play partisan politics with every decision.
“I’d have to run elections for all parties,” Cox said. “All votes, regardless of party affiliation, still need to be counted, and they still need to be cast by the person that is eligible to cast them…There can not be a favorite regarding party affiliation at that point.”
Cox urges anyone who is eligible to vote. She said her plans are not all political, as she still works with college students.
She has employed college students, primarily from the University of New Mexico and Central New Mexico Community College, she said, adding, “I know they have a motivation to (be active and involved). I know they have a desire to do that and I would like to be the person to do that with them with regards to what the Secretary of State’s duties are.”
Nichole Harwood can be contacted on Twitter @Nolidoli1.