Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mary Herrera saves New Mexico Tax Payers 6.3 Million Dollars during her tenure as New Mexico Secretary of State!

How did Mary Herrera save New Mexico Tax Payers 6.3 Million Dollars? Well it is a little complicated but I am going to explain how.

The Federal Auditors from Washington D.C. conducted a federal audit of the Help America Vote funds in 2007, funds awarded to New Mexico by the Elections Assistance Commission totaled 22 million dollars during the years of 2005 and 2006. After the audit was completed, the Federal Auditors concluded that 6.3 million dollars spent on advertising by the previous administration was not allowed to be spent as Help America Funding and requested that New Mexico pay back to the Federal Government 6.3 Million Dollars.

Mary Herrera was Assistant Comptroller for Bernalillo County and was responsible for the entire budget of over 100 million dollars and audits for many years. Mary Herrera having the background in accounting and audits worked out a plan with the Federal Auditors. The plan worked out but was not easy to accomplish, it took many hours of hard work and creativity.

New Mexico passed legislation to change the entire voting system for New Mexico to an all paper ballot system, one great accomplishment of Governor Bill Richardson. New Mexico passed a bill to purchase voting machines in the amount of 11 million dollars in 2004. Federal Auditors allowed Mary Herrera to go back and change prior year legislation language to add {Election Supplies and Advertising} which would allow the 6.3 Million Dollars to be charged to New Mexico funds rather than Federal Funds. The 6.3 Million Dollars spent on advertising would be a State issue and no longer a Federal issue.

With all the hard work of Mary Herrera, her Deputy, Speaker of the House and Governor Richardson, this great plan was accomplished when Mary Herrera was Secretary of State. I can remember Mary Herrera and her Deputy waiting to testify as expert witnesses at 3 in the morning, staying up all night and assuring this legislation was passed.

Did not end there, Mary Herrera and her staff had to work with Department of Finance and Administration to now go back to the accounting transactions and charge 6.3 Million Dollars of advertising towards the 11 Million Dollars (New Mexico funds) and charge 6.3 Million to the Federal Funds as Voting Equipment. The Federal Auditors were satisfied. A copy of the audit was given to State Auditor Hector Balderas who later issued the same audit under New Mexico Audit.

Mary Herrera saves New Mexico Tax Payers 6.3 Million Dollars when she served as New Mexico Secretary of State!

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