The House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee voted to pass one bill related to voter ID, while the more strict version was tabled. However, lawmakers on the panel hinted that portions of the stricter bill will appear in the next version of the legislation that passed. The committee saw two different bills related to voter ID on Saturday in a lengthy hearing. The first—called a compromise bill by sponsors Rep. James Smith, R-Sandia Park, and Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Albuquerque—passed on a party-line 6-5 vote with Republicans in favor. The other, a more strict voter ID bill—was sponsored by Rep. Cathrynn Brown, R-Carlsbad—was tabled on an 8-3 vote, with three Republicans voting against it.
Ivey-Soto, who presented HB 61, said, “There is no systematic voter fraud in the state of New Mexico.” He said that there was anecdotal fraud, but it was not widespread.
“I believe that even one vote that is falsely cast is harmful to the system,” Brown said, later saying just because a crime is rare that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have laws to stop it.