Election Reform on its Way to the Governor’s Desk
On Saturday, the New Mexico Legislature took a step in the right direction to ensure all voters in New Mexico can safely access the ballot box.
The passage of Senate Bill 4 addresses many, but not all, of the problems and concerns voters may have encountered during the recent primary elections as a result of the public health pandemic. New Mexicans made it clear with an unprecedented number voting by mail in the June primary election that they value their ability to vote safely. During the June 18th NM Legislative special session, SB 4 was proposed and passed by Senators Ivey Soto, Ramos and Representatives Johnson and Trujillo.
Senate Bill 4 will:
- Ensure in-person voting sites are available throughout the state
- Allow county clerks to choose if they wish to automatically mail absentee ballot applications to qualified voters
- Provide for coordination with tribal governments on voting locations
- Increase absentee ballot security with intelligent bar codes and tracking
- Include clear instructions on absentee ballots for voters to return their ballot
- Extend emergency powers to the secretary of state as required by any public health orders
The provisions outlined above would only apply to the 2020 election. The Legislature will reconvene in 2021 and could then determine if more permanent changes are warranted.
We appreciate the support of our New Mexico Legislature to help keep voters healthy while participating in our democracy.