Secretary of State Dianna Duran wants a federal court to take over a lawsuit brought by New Mexico Democrats to restore the option of straight party ticket voting in the general election. Duran’s office filed Monday with the U.S. District Court to remove the case from the state Supreme Court. Democrats asked the Supreme Court last week to order Duran, a Republican, to change ballots to allow New Mexico residents to vote for a party’s entire slate of candidate by making a single mark.
Duran’s lawyer said the federal court should decide whether voters’ constitutional rights of equal protection will be violated if ballots are redesigned after some people already have voted. More than 20,000 people have voted as of early Monday and nearly 50,000 absentee ballots have been mailed.