Santa Fe city government late Wednesday released a draft ordinance to establish processes for ranked-choice voting, something a district court judge last week ordered the city to put in place for the municipal election on March 6. While about a dozen cities across the country hold elections using the ranked-choice voting (RCV) method, Santa Fe would be the first jurisdiction in New Mexico to do so. The City Council is expected to adopt a final version of the ordinance after a public hearing at a special meeting on Dec. 20. While the draft ordinance answers some of questions about how the election will be conducted, provided the city’s appeal of Judge David Thomson’s ruling is denied by the state Supreme Court, there’s still much to be worked out.
“Many of those unanswered questions are about how the voting software and machines will work,” Karen Heldmeyer, a former city councilor, wrote in an email to the council, the city clerk and city attorney on Thursday.
“The answers to those questions may not be appropriate for the ordinance, but they do need to be answered. Additionally, there are parts of the ordinance that need additional work,” wrote Heldmeyer, who was in office when the council proposed a city charter amendment mandating RCV, which voters approved in 2008.