A package of election proposals in the state House would allow felons to keep their voting rights while in prison and aim to make voter registration for the general public more convenient, or even automatic. And one bill has the potential to change how New Mexico participates in presidential elections. The proposals, all sponsored by Democrats, are starting to move through the House. The presidential proposal cleared its first committee Wednesday on a party-line vote, with Democrats in the majority. It would sign New Mexico on to a compact pledging the state’s electoral votes to whichever candidate wins the national popular vote. The goal would be to diminish the influence of the winner-take-all system that dominates the Electoral College, in which candidates tend to focus on a dozen or so battleground states that could be won by either party.
Supporters say it would encourage candidates to campaign more broadly throughout the country – because a vote in, say, New Mexico would be worth the same as one in Ohio.
“Every vote should count equally – period,” said Rep. Daymon Ely, D-Corrales.
But Republican lawmakers said the idea wouldn’t be good for New Mexico. Less populous states benefit from slightly higher influence under the Electoral College system, they said.