There’s at least one thing Republicans, Libertarians, independents and even some Democrats seem to agree on. They do not want voters to cast straight-party ballots in the November election. And they are asking the state Supreme Court to stop Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver from putting an option for straight-party voting back on the ballot after a Republican predecessor scrapped it about six years ago. In an emergency petition filed late Thursday, an unlikely assortment of political leaders and advocates argued straight-party voting is no longer allowed under New Mexico law. Moreover, they contend it violates the idea of equal protection under the Constitution for some political parties and independent candidates.
At the very least, they contend, Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat, should have held hearings and collected public input before announcing Wednesday — 69 days before the election — that she would put a straight-party option back on the ballot.
Toulouse Oliver’s office called the lawsuit “unfounded” and cited a state law that says ballots shall “be in the form prescribed by the secretary of state,” contending that leaves it to her to decide whether voters should have a straight-ticket option.