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New Mexico Telegram » Elections, Featured » Republican caught training challengers to demand photo ID (updated)

Republican caught training challengers to demand photo ID (updated)

Post updated with GOP reactions at the bottom.

If you can’t pass voter ID, just demand that voters provide photo identification, even if the law does not provide for it.

Pat Morlen, the vice chair of the Sandoval County Republican Party, was caught on secret video released by ProgressNow New Mexico telling Republican poll challengers to demand photo identification and, if voters did not have photo identification, to say the voter would need to cast a provisional ballot.

The excerpts released by ProgressNow New Mexico are below.

This is not in New Mexico law; only a very select percentage of people will have to show any identification to vote. These are first-time voters who recently registered to vote by mail and did not provide identification when they did so.

Morlen also says that anyone who received a “voter purge” postcard would need to vote with a provisional ballot. This is not true and could show just how confusing the new voter postcards are. Anyone who received one of the postcards and has not changed addresses will be able to vote with a regular ballot at their regular

“We were shocked when we heard this training and read this guide,” says Pat Davis, executive director of ProgressNow New Mexico, in a statement announcing the video. “This is a how-to-guide to voter suppression and many of their instructions are in blatant contradiction to state law. People trained by the GOP to “protect” our elections will wreak havoc on our elections and so frustrate voters that many will simply give up and go home. This has to stop.”

The video either shows that Morlen does not now the laws she is training Republicans on, or is deliberately giving out false information.

The video has reached the front page of Think Progress.

Davis told NM Telegram that they have the full video, but did not release it because it was over an hour long and revealed the face of the person who took the hidden camera footage.


Rep. Steve Pearce said poll challengers should ask for Voter ID even though NM does not have a voter ID law.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press has reaction from Republicans:

GOP spokeswoman Jamie Dickerman said the training session wasn’t organized by the state party but any misinformation can be corrected before the election.

“The state party is looking into the matter and does not condone misinformation,” said Dickerman. “We will work with the Sandoval County Party to correct the problem and make sure that we have fair elections this November.”

Written by

Matthew Reichbach has blogged about New Mexico politics since 2006. Matthew was a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and part of the original hirings at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation. In addition to politics, Matthew is an avid sports fan, especially of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and TV fan.

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6 Responses to "Republican caught training challengers to demand photo ID (updated)"

  1. […] asked by a reporter for The Nation about the video that showed a Republican official was training Republican poll challengers to demand voter ID, U.S. Steve Pearce says that Republican poll challengers should demand voter ID — even though […]

  2. If they try this at the polling place at which I’ll be presiding judge, I’ll reject their challenge and shoe them the law as quoted in our training manual. If they do it a second time, they will be going home. Presiding Judges: know the law and brook no bullshit.

  3. […] a Republican official training poll challengers showed the Republican official telling the trainees to demand identification from voters, despite this being against the law. The trainer, Sandoval County Republican Party vice chair Pat […]

  4. […] opening an investigation into voter suppression based on a secretly-recorded video that showed a Republican poll training class being told they can ask for Voter ID — even though this is not allowed by state […]

  5. […] group behind the poll challenger training were Republican poll challengers were told to ask for photo ID from voters has responded to the […]

  6. […] other Republican representatives have been scrambling in the past week to separate themselves from the specific Poll Challenger Training in question, with GOP spokesperson Jamie Dickerson […]