Concerned citizens in New Mexico made their voices heard on a measure that would limit their free speech— but their Secretary of State is choosing to ignore those voices. As part of the public comment period, the Secretary of State invited citizens to submit comments to her office about a measure that would require citizens to report the causes they support to the state government. More than 750 New Mexicans submitted comments opposing this anti-free speech measure, but they aren’t being counted individually.
Secretary Oliver’s office claims the comments are not “unique” because they were submitted using a digital tool made available by Concerned Veterans for America. Because citizens used this method to contact the Secretary of State’s office, those 758 comments will not be counted as opposition to the measure. It’s ironic that in a debate over limiting free speech in New Mexico, the Secretary of State is using silencing tactics to shut down her opposition. Ironic, because she previously individually counted non-unique form letters that supported her anti-free speech measure, but unsurprising.
This move is a horrible political power play to shut down citizens and shows blatant disregard for the voices of New Mexicans who voiced their concerns over their free speech rights being limited. Governor Martinez already vetoed a similar measure earlier this year, but Secretary Oliver has chosen to circumvent the legislative process to implement it in an arcane state regulation. If left unchallenged, the private information of citizens will become available to the public and the government. Secretary Oliver is severely limiting the voice and freedoms of her constituents pushing through this rule and by not considering the voices of hundreds of New Mexicans.