The right to vote is the centerpiece of our democracy. Regardless of political party, New Mexicans want free and fair elections where every eligible citizen can participate.

Common Cause New Mexico is a leading force in protecting the right to vote and making voting more accessible. Over the years, we’ve made progress and our election laws are generally very voter friendly. We’ve worked to pass the New Mexico Voting Rights Act, which includes the Native American Voting Rights Act and ensures automatic rights restoration for those leaving incarceration.

However, there are still some areas where we must improve, including our closed primary system, which disenfranchises Independent and decline-to-state (DTS) voters. We should also move to ranked-choice voting to give voters more choices and create fair elections.

In New Mexico, we have achieved:

  • Automatic Voter Registration and Same-day Registration, allowing as many eligible voters to participate as possible
  • Online voter registration available through the Secretary of State’s website
  • Establishing a permanent absentee ballot list so voters only need to request a ballot by mail once and then will be automatically sent one every election
  • Convenient, secure drop boxes for returning absentee ballots
  • Voting Convenience Centers allow voters to cast a ballot in their county at any available polling place without needing to go to one dedicated polling site
  • Automatic voting rights restoration upon release from incarceration
  • Establishing Election Day as a school holiday
  • Banning openly carried firearms at all polling locations
  • Allowing 17-year olds to vote in primary elections if they will be 18 by the general election

But we can do more. Here are some critical reforms we should enact:

  • We are working to enact Ranked-Choice Voting to give voters more choice of candidates. In RCV elections, voters rank candidates in order of preferences. RCV promotes positive, inclusive and fair elections, which encourages a diversity of candidates, ensures a majority winner, and saves money by eliminating the need for run-off elections.
  • Common Cause New Mexico has long supported open primaries, allowing DTS and Independent voters the right to vote in primary elections in New Mexico. This is critical, considering that the number of voters registering as DTS or Other has more than tripled since 1982. This is a clear signal that our young voters are turned off by partisan politics.

Modernizing systems to secure registration and encourage participation by every eligible voter makes sense and saves taxpayers money.


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Voting Systems and Elections Security