Outgoing President Donald Trump's campaign filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the New Mexico Secretary of State's Office, alleging the use of drop boxes to collect absentee ballots in the general election violated state law.
The filing — which came as members of the Electoral College in New Mexico and nationwide met to cast votes formalizing Democrat Joe Biden's presidential election victory — asks the court to delay action by electors or vacate their certification until the case is resolved.
Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver implemented the drop boxes as an option for voters who chose to cast ballots by mail amid the surging COVID-19 pandemic. The presidential election drew a record number of voters who requested mail ballots.
The Trump campaign argues in the complaint, however, that a drop box is not an option for returning a mail ballot under the New Mexico Election Code, and that not all such boxes in the state remained secured at all times.
The lawsuit also notes the boxes allowed people to drop off multiple ballots at once.
It asks the U.S. District Court to order Toulouse Oliver to conduct a statewide canvass of absentee ballots and an investigation into the drop boxes.
The Republican Party of New Mexico said in a statement it worked with the Trump campaign's legal team on the complaint.
"RPNM has questioned the validity of votes and the outcome in the presidential races due to mail-in ballots issues and drop box infractions," the party said in the statement. "... The lawsuit wants the electors process stopped because of such violations during this absentee balloting process. The suit calls for drop box votes to be properly validated and counted."
Alex Curtas, a spokesman for the New Mexico Secretary of State's Office, noted in an email the state Republican Party had filed a similar lawsuit, which a judge dismissed earlier this year after Toulouse Oliver agreed to remind county clerks of guidelines for ensuring ballot drop boxes remained secure.
"Though our Office has not been served," Curtas said in the email, "this lawsuit appears to be yet another attempt by the outgoing Trump Administration to silence the voices of lawful voters throughout the country.
"The Republican Party of New Mexico already brought, and then withdrew, a similar lawsuit during the 2020 General Election. By withdrawing that lawsuit, the State GOP acknowledged that drop boxes are legal under New Mexico law," he added. "... Now, on the same day that New Mexico’s electoral votes were cast for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Donald Trump is making a desperate attempt to undermine our lawful election in New Mexico predicated on a misunderstanding of election laws. We look forward to its swift dismissal."