Racist Groups Win NM Supreme Court Case to Suppress Votes

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Earlier this year, Donald Trump announced that New Mexico was going to be a priority target state for his campaign in 2020. It was only a matter of time before we could expect well-connected out-of-state interests to meddle in our elections like they have been doing in other states across the nation. Enter the operatives: True the Vote and the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) are two shady, out-of-state political shops that pride themselves on suppressing votes for conservative gain. And they’re coordinating to suppress the vote here in New Mexico by instituting barriers at every step of the process. 

True the Vote funds lawsuits to purge voter rolls and suppress mail-in ballot efforts while PILF acts as the right-wing legal accomplice that, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, often uses false information to justify their lawsuits. And it doesn’t stop there. Their extreme agenda goes even further. According to a recent article by The Intercept, “True the Vote grew out of King Street Patriots, a local tea party chapter in Houston, Texas that was involved with intimidating voters at multiple polling locations in predominately nonwhite neighborhoods during the 2010 election. Volunteers with the group were reportedly seen “hovering over” voters, blocking lines, and engaging in confrontations with election workers. In 2012, True the Vote deployed poll watchers in Wisconsin who attempted to prevent students from voting.”

Their actions have been so severe that In 2012, Former U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings launched an investigation against True the Vote stating “If these efforts are intentional, politically motivated and widespread across multiple states, they could amount to a criminal conspiracy to deny legitimate voters their constitutional rights.”

Today, the NM Supreme Court ruled against a Vote by Mail program that garnered bi-partisan support of 27 of 33 New Mexico County Clerks and would have expanded voting rights access for families across New Mexico during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Arguing against access to mail-in ballots was True the Vote, in a case prepared by James Bopp, an election advisor to… you guessed it… Donald Trump. An amicus brief was also submitted by their friends at PILF.

So why are out-of-state groups like True the Vote and PILF spending their time and money funding a court case against mail-in-ballots? It’s simple: to limit the number of people who turn out to vote in New Mexico elections.

So why are out-of-state groups like True the Vote and PILF spending their time and money funding a court case against mail-in-ballots? It’s simple: to limit the number of people who turn out to vote in New Mexico elections. 

As if voter suppression via the courts weren’t enough, True the Vote is hatching a plan to engage in physical intimidation tactics at voting sites across the country, including New Mexico. Recent audio leaked from a three-day conference held by Council for National Policy, a secretive foundation of the religious right, suggests that we militarize poll watchers in inner-city areas and on native lands. 

So what’s the prize? Why suppress the vote in New Mexico? 

With only 5 electoral votes, winning NM is strictly symbolic for Trump and cronies like True the Vote and PILF. We’re a border state full of Hispanic and Native Votes. If they can suppress enough votes here in New Mexico, Trump could use us as a “token” diversity state to push a false narrative that our communities support his presidency. They’re attacking families in NM because they thought it would be easy to buy an election here.

Little did they know how resilient our families are. Little did they know how big our resistance is.

Stay connected to ProgressNow New Mexico as we bring you more information throughout the election cycle. We’ll provide everything you need to battle the fake news.


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Executive Director 

Marianna Anaya

Deputy Director 

Lucas Herndon

Energy and Policy Director 

Josette Arvizu

Communications Director 

Jackie Aguirre

Communications Specialist 

Edgar Cruz

Communications Specialist 

Alissa Barnes :: Executive Director
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Alissa Barnes is Executive Director at ProgessNow New Mexico where she leads a team that works on message development, issue and voter education, and amplification of progressive messages and values. She leads the organization in strategy development, fundraising, and organizational growth and sustainability.

Alissa’s background includes nearly 12 years at Roadrunner Food Bank where Alissa led the development and creation of multiple programs that are now national models, invested in community building and collaborations, and worked closely with elected officials, educating about hunger and why policies would either benefit or hurt clients in food lines. She has a BA from the University of New Mexico and various non-profit certifications.
  • If she followed her childhood dream, she would be a Broadway tap dancing star
  • Has seen Frozen 1 and 2 over 100 times
  • Loves heavy metal concerts
Marianna Anaya :: Deputy Director
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Marianna oversees strategic messaging and creative implementation tactics for issue-based and political campaigns. She leads the team’s digital and earned media programs, bringing a New Mexico values-based approach to her work. 

Marianna’s background includes race and ethnic studies in education as a focus at UT Austin and UCLA, political campaign work, staffing former Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham as well as leading organizing and communications work for the Albuquerque Teachers Federation.

  • She currently serves as the Board President of Emerge NM. 
  • Her hobbies include getting more women, queer folks and BIPOC elected to office.
  • She has three cuddle-worthy dogs at home
Lucas Herndon :: Energy and Policy Director
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Lucas’ focus is on all things energy and environment, election integrity projects and general messaging strategy. He is often the front facing voice for PNNM when it comes to issues surrounding methane, renewable energy, oil industry accountability, and public lands issues. 

Lucas has an extensive background in public lands and solar energy. He was instrumental in the creation of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in 2014 and has participated in every local election since 2012 through phone banking, online organizing, and poll watching. Lucas is a lifelong resident of Las Cruces where he has served in various capacities of leadership including as President of the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce, District Director for the Dona Ana County Democratic Party, and attending and completing the inaugural classes of the Las Cruces Neighborhood Leadership Academy and the Las Cruces Tree Stewards. 

  • Owned a tattoo shop called Omega Tattoo & Supply 
  • Once got a chin bump “what’s up” from James Harden on an airplane when Harden saw Lucas’ beard 
  • Has a minor in Medieval and Early Modern History
Josette Arvizu :: Communications Director
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Josette Arvizu is the Communications Director at ProgressNow New Mexico where she oversees the development and implementation of systems that further the external and internal communications of the organization.

Josette’s background in marketing includes copywriting, paid media, SEO and content strategy for businesses and nonprofits, including convention and visitor bureaus from Bermuda to Anaheim. She began her career teaching writing to college students while in New Mexico State University’s MFA in creative writing program. Her previous work promoting diversity and inclusion includes coordination of writing and traditional arts workshops for Native American youth at the Tucson Indian Center.
  • Is a cat mom to an obstinate orange tabby named Quasimodo and a restless grey cat named Squirrel
  • Hasn’t heard a pun she didn’t like
  • Minored in dance in college and is an avid follower of ballet on Instagram
Jackie Aguirre :: Communications Specialist
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Jackie’s focus is on graphics and social media marketing that promote progressive issues across our state. 

Jackie’s background includes work in the Reproductive Justice space focusing on Latinx, Chicanx and Mexican-American communities.

  • She is a co-owner of a community art gallery celebrating BIPOC artists
  • She is a long-time volunteer for Planned Parenthood and works with college students to provide condoms/dental dams, menstrual products & other resources
  • She is a part of a group of women who love craft beer and hosts monthly beer shares with beer from all over the country
Edgar Cruz :: Communications Specialist
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Edgar Cruz is a Communications Specialist at ProgressNow New Mexico where he focuses on video creation and research that promotes progressive issues across our state.

Edgar has a background producing multimedia initiatives. With over five years of radio production experience, he is a movement agent who believes in exploring all avenues of media to inform and engage community.

  • Is a host of Espejos de Aztlan on KUNM
  • Is a member of Generation Justice
  • First discovered his passion for organizing as a high school student after joining the Youth Alliance in 2009