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Governor Positions Slowdown as Progress

Anyone who lives here for any length of time knows that our state has two mottos. There is the official, Land of Enchantment, and then there is the unofficial Land of Manana. The Richardson administration has gone out of its way to embrace the philosophies of the latter.

The latest example is the new push to return to paper ballots (subscription):

Converting to a paper-ballot system statewide could require the purchase of about 1,500 optical-scan tabulators at a cost to the state of about $11 million, officials said.

Eleven of New Mexico’s 33 counties already use a similar system.

“I am proposing a bold step forward by standardizing the election systems in all of New Mexico’s 33 counties,” Richardson said at the Capitol on Thursday.

“Accuracy is more important than speed,” the governor said. He was referring to national controversy over vote counts by electronic touchscreen and lever machines without so-called “paper trails,” as well as the expected slower pace of voting by paper ballot.

Only Governor Richardson could rationalize the rejection of technology to be “a bold step forward.” What’s next? Does he address the DWI problem by getting everyone to abandon their vehicles and revert to horse and buggy?

And what about that “Accuracy is more important than speed” comment? You mean, our election results are going to get even slower? As I recall, we couldn’t even report the election results for the 2004 presidential election on Election Day.