Elected official posts picture showing public health order violations

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –  On Monday, the Bernalillo County Clerk enouraged people to wear masks at the polls, but not before coming under fire for posting a picture of herself not following health guidelines.

Over the weekend, while New Mexico was announcing record-high new, daily COVID-19 cases, Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover posted a picture on her personal Facebook page seemingly defying health guidelines. The picture immediately caught the attention of some constituents.

“I found it extremely hypocritical that she would take a photo in such a manner with an elderly individual as we’re being told by our governor that this age group is at the most risk,” Jeremy Peck, a Bernalillo County constituent, said.

The photo, which has since been deleted, was taken at the West Alameda polling location off of Coors Blvd. It showed Stover standing behind an elderly man, who is in a mask, with her hands on his shoulders. In the photo, Stover is closer than six feet to the elderly man and is not wearing a mask.

“If you have elected officials that people look up to and the governor’s orders is wear a mask. Well, then it’s most important that these individuals wear a mask,” Peck said. “It’s totally contradictory to what the governor’s orders are and what we’re told to do. So, it sends the wrong message to everybody out there on what we are to do when you have conflicting elected officials doing one thing and not the other.”

On Monday, on her personal Facebook page, Stover posted encouraging people to wear masks to the polls. In a statement to KRQE News 13, Stover responded to the photo saying:

We all must all do everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In retrospect, I should not have removed my mask for the photo. It was just for a moment outdoors but I won’t do it again.

New Mexico Coronavirus Resource Guide

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