KRQE issued a correction on September 9, 2021: “In a previous version of this story, KRQE reported that there would be four names on the ballot. That is incorrect. Tim Keller, Manny Gonzales, and Eddy Aragon will be on the ballot. Patrick Sais is a write-in candidate.“
KRQE reporter Jami Seymore has single-handedly qualified a fourth candidate for the Albuquerque mayoral election in November.
In a three-way race between two Democrats and a Republican outsider, Seymore on Monday falsely claimed “there will be four names on the ballot during this November’s mayoral election.”
“According to the Secretary of State’s office,” the report stated, “there are four candidates in the Albuquerque mayoral race, including Keller, Gonzales, Eddy Aragon, and Patrick Sais.”
The first problem is that the link she provided isn’t to the Secretary of State’s Office. It’s to the Albuquerque City Clerk’s website. Secondly, it goes to the “2021 Candidates” page, which lists people who threw their hat into the ring but not necessarily the final list of names on the ballot.
To find that, KRQE would have had to click right underneath the 2021 Candidates list on a tab titled, “Petition & Qualifying Contribution Tally,” which details which candidates actually met the minimum signature threshold to be on the ballot. Incumbent Tim Keller, Manny Gonzales, and Eddy Aragon all received 100% of the verified signature requirements.
A keen eye would notice what voters will see for themselves November 2 —that Sais didn’t make the cut. He gathered only a third of the signatures needed to be on the ballot.
Sais himself admitted this in a one-minute-16-second speech given at a Downtown Albuquerque event on Saturday, saying, “I’ll be a write-in candidate.”
While Albuquerque residents are free to write in literally any name they wish, Sais is no more a candidate on the ballot than Mickey Mouse or Donkey Dong Doug.
The reason is that neither Mickey Mouse, Donkey Dong Doug, nor Patrick Ben Sais gathered the minimum number of signatures needed to convince the city to waste ink printing their names on the ballot.
The odd part is, based on previous reporting KRQE knows this.
In a news report published less than a month ago, KRQE‘s Anna Padilla covered Aragon joining the race and cited the Albuquerque City Clerk’s Office as having confirmed that Aragon “surpassed the 3,000 signatures required to get on the ballot.”
“He joins incumbent Tim Keller. Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales will also appear on the ballot. Tuesday evening was the deadline for mayoral candidates to submit petitions.”— KRQE, August 11, 2021
What changed from August that KRQE would exclude Sais’ name even as a write-in candidate only to claim in September that he’s actually on the ballot?
It’s perhaps relevant to note that Sais, like Aragon, is a Republican. Keller and Gonzales are Democrats.
Whether this is an honest mistake or an orchestrated plot to dilute the vote against the only qualified Republican on the ballot is yet to be seen. If KRQE repeats the factual error in future news reports, you know it wasn’t an accident.
If they don’t issue a correction, the question then becomes, what about Republican Eddy Aragon justifies lying to voters about who’s actually on the November ballot for Albuquerque mayor?