New Mexicans should be able to register to vote online by the end of this week, as the Secretary of State’s Office is putting the final touches on new regulations that will allow the option for the first time in state history. Online voter registration has surged in popularity in recent years and is already available in 26 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. New Mexico is one of three additional states – Oklahoma and Florida are the others – implementing such a system. Gov. Susana Martinez signed a bill, approved by legislators during this year’s 60-day legislative session, that mandated online voter registration, among other changes, and officials in the Secretary of State’s Office have been working to have it ready to go by Friday – more than a year before their deadline.
At a Tuesday hearing at the state Capitol, feedback on the proposed online voter regulations was largely positive, though several American Indian voting rights advocates expressed concern the system could pose challenges on tribal lands.
Maggie Toulouse Oliver, the Bernalillo County clerk, said county clerks have been working with the Secretary of State’s Office on the new regulations for months. “In general, I think the rule is in good shape, and I’m excited to move forward with online voter registration,” Toulouse Oliver said.