- Associated Press - Monday, December 8, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Both sides in the race to be New Mexico’s land commissioner, one of the most powerful positions in state government, are negotiating how a recount will be conducted in hopes of avoiding a showdown before the New Mexico Supreme Court.

Several hundred votes separate Republican Aubrey Dunn and incumbent Ray Powell, a margin so small it triggers an automatic recount under state law.

The recount - scheduled to start Monday - was put on hold after Powell filed a petition with the court. The Democrat took issue with the procedures ordered by the state canvassing board.

At issue is how many ballots are used to test the vote tabulating machines that would be used in the recount.

If no agreement is reached, the court has scheduled another hearing Wednesday.

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