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Dec 28, 2023

Happy holidays! While our team is off enjoying a well-deserved break, we're revisiting an episode from our September 2023 Voter Registration Month series, offering a rallying cry for voters and elected leaders nationwide ahead of next year's pivotal national elections. In this episode, host and NewDEAL CEO Debbie Cox Bultan talks with New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, who has been running elections for almost seventeen years. Despite threats of violence, and an unrelenting barrage of misinformation and disinformation, she continues to find silver linings and remains wholeheartedly committed to her work. They talk about Toulouse Oliver's path to public service, the recently passed New Mexico Voting Rights Act, and the importance of balancing transparency and security in the voting process. Tune in to hear the Secretary's insights on the current state of American democracy and how she continues to find hope and inspiration.

  • [0:02:41] Where Maggie’s passion for politics originated.

  • [0:03:45] Maggie’s journey into the County Clerk's office.

  • [0:04:11] The demographic in the County Clerk’s office when Maggie took up a position there. 

  • [0:04:01] An overview of what Maggie’s role as Secretary of State consists of. 

  • [0:05:42] How Maggie’s experience in the County Clerk’s office has helped her in her current role.

  • [0:07:44] The “big lie” in relation to voting that many Americans have bought into. 

  • [0:09:01] Threats that Maggie and her colleagues have been bombarded with since the 2020 election. 

  • [0:09:54] How Maggie navigates the challenges of being a protector of a democracy under threat.

  • [0:12:48] What Maggie and her delegation were able to achieve at this year’s legislative session in New Mexico.

  • [0:16:34] The key factor that Maggie believes is responsible for their very productive legislative session.

  • [0:20:13] Why vote-by-mail became a partisan issue.

  • [0:23:31] The importance of enhancing the public’s understanding of the lifecycle of a ballot while maintaining privacy.

  • [0:29:00] Maggie’s number one concern heading into 2024 and her approach to dealing with it. 

  • [0:33:47] Where Maggie draws hope and inspiration from. [0:33:47]