FOUR CCNM Priority Bills Already on Committee Schedule for Wednesday Morning!

HOUSE STATE GOVERNMENT, ELECTIONS & INDIAN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE will hear Automatic Voter Registration and National Popular Vote Bills on Wednesday, January 23!

And we’re off! The 2019 60-day New Mexico Legislative Session is off to a fast start for good governance. Common Cause NM staff has been busy connecting with legislators about all of our priority bills this session and tomorrow morning. Four of them are already scheduled for a hearing:


Wednesday, January 23, 2019 – 8:30 A.M. – Room 305

Here’s a brief overview of two of these priority bills ahead for tomorrow:

HB 84, Automatic Voter Registration is a process many states are adopting to update our current paper-based system with a new electronic system that creates a secure database to automatically identify and register all eligible Americans to vote. The secure database actively updates voter registration information when people apply for or renew their driver’s license or when they change their address.

Secure. Technology has dramatically changed the way we live. Unfortunately, our outdated paper-based system of voting hasn’t kept up with the times. An electronic automatic voter registration system would use a secure database to ensure that those who are ineligible to vote will not be able to take advantage of an insecure system.

Accessible. Automatic Voter Registration will protect the fundamental right of every American, regardless of party, to have their vote counted. And it will ensure that those who encounter barriers to voting – veterans, active military, senior citizens, and people with disabilities – are able to participate fully in our democracy.

Accurate. Each year, millions of voter paper registration forms are manually entered into a database. Too often, mistakes happen that deny eligible American citizens their right to vote.

Cost-effective. Nationwide, tens of millions of paper voter registrations are processed every year, and each one costs almost 30 times more than an electronic registration. By replacing our outdated paper-based system with a modern, electronic one, AVR will eliminate wasteful red tape and save NM taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars that could be spent on other vital services.

HB 57, Restore Felon Voting Rights: Common Cause is dedicated to fighting for a fair, accessible, and equitable democracy that works for all Americans. That includes people who are currently incarcerated. By ending felony disenfranchisement, we can strengthen our democracy by breaking down barriers to the ballot box so all of us have a voice in our politics.

Why?  Because when we revoke a person’s ability to vote, we are creating a unique challenge for our democracy. The members of our communities who are most affected by the unfair policy of voter disenfranchisement are unable to express their grievances at the ballot box.

Simply put, incarcerated individuals are unable to make their voice heard in our democracy. People of color, people with disabilities, people from low income backgrounds are the most likely to be affected by the policy of voter disenfranchisement. Restoring the right to vote will help ensure there is more equity in our democracy and that the voting population is truly reflective of state, cities, and communities that we live in.

Other CCNM priority bills, such as the enabling legislation for the new Independent Ethics Commission voters passed in November, are just getting their finishing touches on their language and should be introduced early next week!

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