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The Latest: SOS: Dem Torres Small will take US House seat

November 16, 2018
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Congressional District 2 Republican candidate Yvette Herrell talks to supporters at the Republican Party of Otero County watch party in Alamogordo, N.M., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (Duane Barbati/Alamogordo Daily News via AP)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on a petition seeking to impound absentee ballots in a New Mexico county in the race for a U.S. House seat (all times local):

1 p.m.

The New Mexico secretary of state’s office says it expects Democrat Xochitl (ZOH’-cheel) Torres Small to take her U.S. House seat despite a push from her Republican opponent to inspect certain ballots.

New Mexico Secretary of State spokesman Alex Curtas said Friday the office is scheduled to certify results by Nov. 27 that will show, according to unofficial results, Torres Small defeating Republican Yvette Herrell.

State District Judge Manuel Arrieta ruled Friday the New Mexico secretary of state’s office can tally results amid Herrell’s request to impound absentee ballots in a key county.

Arrieta says meanwhile Herrell’s lawyers and the New Mexico secretary of state’s office can come up with agreement on how those ballots can be inspected.

Curtas says Torres Small is in Washington, D.C., and attending freshman orientation.

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12:45 p.m.

A judge says he will allow the New Mexico secretary of state’s office to finish its tally of a U.S. House race before the losing Republican can inspect certain ballots.

State District Judge Manuel Arrieta ruled Friday the New Mexico secretary of state’s office can tally results amid Republican Yvette Herrell’s request to impound absentee ballots in a key county.

The AP called the race for Democrat Xochitl (ZOH’-cheel) Torres Small after absentee ballots tallied in Dona Ana County put her over the top.

Arrieta says meanwhile Herrell’s lawyers and the New Mexico secretary of state’s office can come up with agreement on how those ballots can be inspected.

Court documents filed by Herrell’s lawyers this week cited “chain-of-custody issues and other improprieties” but didn’t give details.

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9:08 p.m.

A hearing is set for a New Mexico Republican who is seeking to impound absentee ballots in a key county that decided a U.S. House race in favor of her Democratic opponent.

State District Judge Manuel Arrieta is scheduled Friday to hear arguments in response to an emergency petition filed by Yvette Herrell, who wants to inspect absentee ballots from Dona Ana County.

The AP called the race for Democrat Xochitl (ZOH’-cheel) Torres Small after those absentee ballots tallied the day after the election put her over the top.

Court documents filed by Herrell’s lawyers cited “chain-of-custody issues and other improprieties” but didn’t give details.

Herrell hasn’t provided any evidence about the alleged irregularities. Her campaign has not returned repeated voicemails, text messages and emails from The Associated Press.

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