Attorney denies co-op vote valid

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While a total of 184 people voted in the District III Socorro Electric Cooperative trustee election on Nov. 16, co-op attorney Lorna Wiggins has said the vote is not valid.

Elva K. Österreich/El Defensor Chieftain: Socorro Electric Cooperative District III member/owners register and vote Nov. 16 at Finley Gym. According to attorney Lorna Wiggins, none of these votes will count because, although 184 people voted in the trustee election, a quorum of in-person voters were not counted at the business meeting, which took place after the registration and voting were done.

A count at the District III meeting netted a total of 65 member/owners present at the business meeting itself. To make a quorum, 66 individuals were needed.

Following the vote, one co-op member, James Cherry, stated he saw several registered members fail to hold up their wristbands and thus were actually present but not counted during the count.

When meeting chairman Peter Gonzales called for adjournment, he accepted a motion and a second to adjourn. Wiggins told Gonzales a vote was not required for adjournment, so the meeting was adjourned.

Members present at the meeting demanded the results of the election to be announced and following the adjournment, the co-op manager did so, reminding everyone that the numbers are not official and not valid.

Unofficially Melissa Amaro would have won the election with a total of 140 votes; Leroy Anaya received a total of 77 votes; Prescilla Mauldin received a total of 27 votes; and Donald Wolberg received a total of six votes.

Wiggins said another vote would have to take place before a new trustee can be named.