LAS CRUCES, NM- Dr. Gavin Clarkson, Republican nominee for Secretary of State, is calling foul on embattled incumbent Maggie Toulouse Oliver’s comments that appear to defend the coverup of the massive voter data breach first made public at Tuesday’s meeting of the Doña Ana Board of County Commissioners.

From today’s Las Cruces Sun News:
Toulouse Oliver defended the clerks’ office response, saying in a prepared statement that it is “engaged in a thorough and proper review of the documents. While some people might wish for a quicker process in all of this, the clerk’s office is demonstrating their commitment to the public interest by waiting until all documents have been reviewed and cataloged before making any announcements.”

“My opponent,” Clarkson said, “is once again missing the point and obscuring her failed leadership with a steady stream of bureaucratic baloney. She conveniently ignores the fact that it took almost two and a half months for anyone to even began reviewing and cataloging these mismanaged documents and that the clerk’s office never took any steps to notify the public until they were publicly exposed Tuesday.

“Doing the right thing only after you’re caught in a coverup doesn’t cut it, and questions remain unanswered about the Secretary’s knowledge of and possible participation in this abuse of the public trust.”

Clarkson is has filed IPRA requests to determine what was communicated concerning the breach within the Clerk’s office as well as with state officials.

“The first response should have been to err on the side of transparency since a substantial risk of identity theft was associated with this kind of sensitive data breach,” the former business law professor insisted. “The financial safety of our senior citizens should never be so flippantly dismissed.”

Doña Ana Chief Deputy Clerk Lindsey Bachman confirmed Tuesday that thousands of voter registration cards containing confidential information and social security numbers were left unprotected for more than a decade in the county’s now-abandoned former courthouse and jail.

Board of Commissioners Chairman Ben Rawson made the leadership of the County Clerk’s office aware of the situation in May, but no steps towards transparency were taken by the office until after then-County Clerk Scott Krahling resigned for alleged sexual impropriety and misappropriation of funds.

About Gavin Clarkson:
Dr. Gavin Clarkson is the Republican nominee for New Mexico Secretary of State. He is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development in the Department of the Interior and a former Associate Professor in the College of Business at New Mexico State University. He has a BA and MBA from Rice University, is a cum laude graduate of the Harvard Law School and is the first tribal member to ever earn a doctorate from the Harvard Business School (in Technology and Operations Management).

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