Of the many disservices lame-duck President Donald Trump has done to the country, claiming “massive fraud” in elections is in the top five.

Trump is ending his term without a flicker of recognition or interest in a pandemic that’s straining hospitals and creating demand for makeshift morgues. His false claims of a stolen election will make it harder for President-elect Joe Biden to heal an ailing country.

None of the complaining and phony outrage are new for Trump.

In 2016, after Trump won the presidency but lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, he claimed he’d been robbed.

“In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,” Trump wrote on Twitter four years ago.

His camp claimed “busloads” of voters from Massachusetts rolled into New Hampshire to vote for Clinton. Cheating that occurred only in Trump’s fertile imagination enabled Clinton to carry both those states.

Trump also said “serious voter fraud” occurred in California in 2016. He claimed America’s most populous state had handed a million or so illegal votes to Clinton. As for evidence, Trump had none.

His empty harangues continue, though his tone is now that of a bitter loser instead of a sore winner.

Trump’s false claims this time center mostly on the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic region.

Philadelphia, Detroit and Milwaukee ran a rigged system, he says. Against all law and reason, he hopes his flimsy statements will strip Biden of victories in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

As for Trump’s definition of “landslide,” he’s forgotten it.

Biden received as many votes in the Electoral College this year as Trump did in 2016.

Biden also bested Trump by more than 6 million popular votes while running up the highest overall total in history. Trump isn’t concerning himself with that statistic, figuring he should worry about somehow finagling more favorable totals in the Electoral College.

Trump’s crack legal team has even dragged New Mexico into its storyline of a crooked election.

Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s attorney, claimed election fraud occurred in New Mexico last month. Giuliani’s statement amounted to a throwaway line delivered for shock value.

But Giuliani’s charge excited a few Trump supporters in New Mexico, such as state Republican Chairman Steve Pearce.

For purposes of self-preservation, Pearce was glad Trump and Giuliani offered him an alibi for the weak showing by Republicans in New Mexico.

“Just as President Trump is seeing comfortable leads evaporate in key states without having access allowed by law, several key races in New Mexico now hinge on a few ballots being certified without Republicans being allowed access,” Pearce said.

But this time, unlike 2018, no complaints were made by Pearce’s protégée, Yvette Herrell.

Herrell claimed fraud cost her the election two years ago in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District.

Herrell’s real humiliation was easier to identify. She declared herself the winner in 2018 while thousands of votes remained to be counted.

Democrat Xochitl Torres Small ended up defeating Herrell by 3,700 votes. Herrell said Democrats cheated her. But Herrell didn’t contest the election. She had no evidence to overturn it.

This time, Herrell won a rematch with Torres Small. And not a discouraging word has been spoken by Herrell since.

Funny how that works. Win and all is well. Lose and corruption had to be the reason.

Pearce and at least one other state Republican have floated trial balloons about election malfeasance.

Ricky Little of Chaparral is still trailing in a tight race against state Rep. Willie Madrid in District 53.

Little told me he’s worried about voter fraud costing him the seat. He offered no evidence to support his suspicion.

In Little’s case, he gets an automatic recount based on margin. Madrid leads by 36 votes of almost 6,692 cast. That leaves Little within 1 percent of Madrid, making a recount mandatory under state law.

Only a couple of votes typically change in state legislative recounts. Little knows this, but he has every opportunity to test the accuracy of his election.

Except for Herrell’s win, Pearce had a terrible year as GOP state chairman.

Republicans lost the open U.S. Senate seat in New Mexico and they remain the minority by wide margins in the state Senate and state House of Representatives.

This might be why Pearce and his party have gone to bat for their leader.

“Donate to President Trump’s legal fund to help him fight voter fraud and win this election,” they said in a statement.

That’s the spirit. If reading the scoreboard is too painful, resort to the old trick of blaming the umpire.

Ringside Seat is an opinion column about people, politics and news. Contact Milan Simonich at msimonich@sfnewmexican.com or 505-986-3080.

(37) comments

Tom Hyland

Spellcheck strikes again. That's myopic... not biopic.

Tom Hyland

Milan... do you Democrat much? The election was stolen. Whether it remains stolen is still to be determined. IMPOSSIBLE events occurred, many of them entirely impossible to believe. The past four years have been a daily scream from Democrats that the 2016 election was corrupt. Now Democrats are proclaiming that flawed elections don't happen in America. How can anyone believe anything anymore. You should read something besides your own biopic opinion, Milan.


Richard Reynaud

Why doesn't the Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Las Cruces newspapers get together and find out the truth in NM. Absentee ballots are the font of Election Fraud in Dona Ana County (my county) and throughout NM (see fraudulent requested ballots all over the State). The NM SoS Office is the enabler of all voter fraud in NM, they facilitated NO ABSENTEE BALLOT verification in the 2020 NM General Election. Why won't the NM Press even investigate?

Sally Oswald

My two favorite paragraphs in Simonich's column were: "Win and all is well. Lose and coorruption had to be the cause." AND "If reading the scoreboard is too painful, resort to the old trick of blaming the umpire." Well said and brought to a simple level for all to understand.

Michael Froman

I challenge every INDEPENDENT(Dems and Reps should check this as well) who votes in person to go to https://voterportal.servis.sos.state.nm.us and click on the "Ballot Tracker" and voter history links to see how many Mail-In ballots have been requested and submitted in YOUR name without your knowledge since 2016.

Apparently every single adult member of my household (and an elderly neighbor) had mail in ballots both requested and submitted on the SAME DAY despite all of us being In Person voters.

Based on the data from the NM Voter Portal site every year that Maggie Oliver has been SoS I have requested and submitted a mail in ballot for every Mid-Term, Presidential, local election and nuisance ballot issue in Los Alamos County despite the fact that I have never personally voted by mail in my entire life.

Election Integrity is non-existent in New Mexico and even if you vote in person there's a pretty good chance that a bogus mail in ballot was requested and submitted in YOUR NAME without your knowledge long before you made your way to the polling location in person.

Sally Oswald

Michael, you are missing one point: Absentee ballots are counted after In-Person voting and if you voted in-person, your absentee ballot will be Null and Void. Your name will NOT be allowed to vote in-person and as an Absentee Ballot.

Michael Froman

What makes you think these con artists process votes in any fashion which can be tracked or verified but the voter? I didn't vote in 2017 or 2018 but the SoS website shows that I voted by mail. These are crooks, any sort of self-governance or propriety you might imply or expect is WISHFUL THINKING.

HRH Prince Michael Jauregui

Whoa. The Great Simonich is playing the Political marks like a violin Today. What's your next column sir, "Why Joe Biden should be a two-termer"? Maybe, "Trump deserves another chance"? You'll have 'em beating down your door, O' Great One!

Anita McGinnis

How can we know that these are "fake claims" unless there is a fair and truthful investigation. If citizens have questions about the voting process, it's their right to know the truth. Consider all the recent misinformation provided by censoring, distortion and just leaving out vital facts. The media in general have lost their credibility. Opinion columnists are not the only valid source of information.

Richard Irell

We have people making outlandish claims with no evidence to back them up. Trump and his shills have gone to the courts and have presented not a shred of evidence.

Michael Froman

I have screen captures and printouts of the NM voter portal website showing that I requested mail in ballots in 2017, 2018 and 2020 and that they were SUBMITTED the very same day they were requested!! My wife, daughter and our elderly neighbor have experienced the same thing and the one thing we all have in common is that we were registered as INDEPENDENTS....I've never requested a mail-in ballot or voted by mail in my entire life and neither have any of my family members.

Comment deleted.
Richard Irell

If they were so rigged, how in the world did Xochitl Torres Small lose?

Robert Bartlett

Disgraceful censorship at the SFNM. It won't work.

Chris Mechels

Our gloating and name calling should be a bit more restrained. The New Mexico voting process needs some serious oversight and reform.

I say this as one who served as a poll worker, then as Presiding Judge, for elections through the 2000 election. Our SOS did a lot of gloating after that election also, with claims that we should serve as an "example".

In fact, what I found as a Presiding Judge, examining my materials provided by the SF County Clerk was; poorly written, confusing, guidance from the SOS, in some cases contradicting NM laws. Layered on top of this; poorly written, confusing, guidance from the Clerk's Office, which sometimes contradicted the SOS guidance, and sometime contradicted NM laws. In other words, a Mess.

With the inadequate SOS effort, one can see why the Clerk felt they had to generate guidance, but that effort included their own errors. I raised this problem with the SOS after the election, and they would not address it. For my efforts they struck me from the rolls of poll workers, in spite of the fact that they had requested feedback such as I provided.

The result, at the time, was that every County in New Mexico was doing a different dance, in large part due to the inadequate, inaccurate, illegal guidance from the SOS. This was particularly bad for "Provisional Ballots" where the handling differed from Precinct to Precinct.

I rather suspect that things haven't changed much, as the SOS strongly resisted any criticism. It needs a good look, by an outside agency. As for me, I can sleep in on election days, and didn't need the money, but I am disappointed in our election process. I tried to correct it, which is all a citizen can do when government fails its duty.

The media, including the New Mexican, shows no interest in any of this, outside of ripping the Republicans. BTW, I'm a reluctant Democrat. The stench is pretty bad.

Another current troublesome area with the SOS is the failure to do oversight of the Financial Disclosure requirement. I have lobbied Maggie on this, to no effect. Sad...

Mike Johnson

[thumbup] And as a victim of this year's botched absentee voting process in the general, with my and my wife's vote rejected on bogus grounds after the same info was used in the primary and counted, I can tell you they have much work to do on mail in votes to give people any confidence in the outcomes.

Russell Scanlon

The biggest problem in our society today is that there are a fair amount of folks who believe that they alone know “the truth” while the rest of us are suckers of “liberal media”. This unfortunately was a ploy begun years ago by the Republican Party under Nixon/Agnew, amplified by decades of yammering loudmouths on FOX news and talk radio, and brought into full flower by “birther” boy Donald Trump. The conspiracy world is exciting, exotic, and black and white The real world is mundane, scientific, and filled with shades of gray—and occupied by hardworking, substantial, and unglamorous people.

Mark Stahl

The only way republicans could have held onto the Senate and gained seats in the House of Representatives, including the election of Yvette Harrell, is through massive voter fraud perpetrated by the republican party. Does anybody buy that take ? What republicans don’t seem to understand in their idolatry of trump is the massive disgust the majority of Americans have for trump. He and his followers have mocked, antagonized, provoked and “owned” the opposition for four years. The chickens came home to roost. Eighty million people may not have voted for Biden, but that many did vote against trump. As republicans exclaimed four years ago, “get over it “.

Meriom Kastner


Richard Irell

If there exists widespread voter fraud anywhere but in the fevered imaginations of Republicans, then why hasn’t ANY of it been produced in a court of law?

Rhetorical question, of course, because there is no evidence of anything but that many Republicans live in a a world where facts are the enemy and lies repeated often enough become truth.

Robert Bartlett

And when such evidence is before your eyes, what will you say then?

Richard Irell

I will say that I was wrong. Something your ilk will never do.

Robert Bartlett

OK Check the news and get back to us.

HRH Prince Michael Jauregui

"....where facts are the enemy and lies repeated often enough become truth."

Such as, "mostly peaceful protests" - after more than $2B in damages? Toe that party line, mark. I mean, Richard.

Richard Irell

Thanks for putting words in my mouthy and then shooting them down (see the straw man fallacy, but I know your kind cares nothing for logic or reason). I was abhorred as anyone by the riots. Almost as abhorred as I am by the Republican efforts to destroy our democratic institutions.

HRH Prince Michael Jauregui

My first paragraph mere quoted your own words. The following paragraph was simply a rhetorical question? To claim, I "put words in your mouth', was a bold face lie. Besides, as only as Christian and American, -with an antipathy for both political parties- I concur with your abhorrence.

Have a nice day, Richard - whether you like it or not!

HRH Prince Michael Jauregui

O.K., I can see how you could've been confused. I should've placed the "...Toe the party line" sentence AFTER I quoted you - the miscommunication is clear. Nonetheless, have a great week mark. I mean, Richard.

Stefanie Beninato

Agree, Richard. As we see from the factless comments made below by the same alt right reality freaks that post this type of tripe daily.

HRH Prince Michael Jauregui

Your small-minded attempts to associate me with any group -real or imagined- are futile. Again.

Richard Irell

You said: “ Such as, "mostly peaceful protests" - after more than $2B in damages? Toe that party line, mark. I mean, Richard.” you called me out by name saying that I toed some part line about the protests. Which I never did. You are the liar.

John Cook

Congratulations, fellows. You've made Milan look good.

Richard Reynaud

By the way, in 2018 absentee voters who DID NOT know their birthyear had their votes counted, contra the election code. Responsible voters in Dona Ana County had their votes negated by people who didn't know their birth year! The NM SoS office and Dona Ana County Clerk conducted an illegal election in 2018, and in 2020. Ballot harvesting a problem for all future elections in Dona Ana County, especially if the NM SoS and Dona Ana County Clerk allow unverified ballots. The NM SoS office is the "wind" beneath the wings of the massive voter fraud operation in NM.

HRH Prince Michael Jauregui

The Associated Press and their latest nationwide narrative (Read: Toe the U.S. "Government" line) of "no evidence of widespread voter fraud" might bear a semblance to Truth, if those bastions of Free Speech were not selective in their assertions. I'll create an example, in headline form:

Officials find claims of voter fraud baseless, EXCEPT FOR RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE IN '16.

Shameless shills, with keyboards and printing presses.

Mike Johnson

Well said hermano, and spot on. The problems with partisans, like Milan and those on the right too, is that they have selective memories, aka "hypocrisy". Of course none of these bogus voter fraud claims is significant enough to explain the election outcome. Just like the bogus claims of Russian interference in 2016, that continued being spread, argued, embellished, and investigated for the next 4 years with not a shred of evidence ever uncovered after hundreds of millions of our taxpayer monies were spent, and legislative time wasted, investigating same. 4 years ago the story was how could the most qualified person ever in history to run for President (Obama certified and proved), and a woman no less, have lost to a never in government heathen who talks the way he does about women, minorities, illegal aliens ( Oops, sorry, immigrants), etc.?? It is impossible, it must have been the Russians, yeah, that's the ticket for the conspiracy theory. And the very same partisans who believed that are now saying partisans who believe something just as outrageous are insane........this is where we have come with politics in America.

HRH Prince Michael Jauregui

Milan, -and Phill- are hard-working newspaper veterans, and pretty decent dudes. The AP? Straight agenda-serving shills - top to bottom.

Mark Stahl

You’re very judgmental for a self proclaimed Christian. I remember something about “judge not.......”

HRH Prince Michael Jauregui

M. Stahl: Judgement? Where is the judgement. If it talks like a duck, walks like a duck and acts like a duck, I'll call it a duck. You would prefer I call it a T-Rex?

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