The New Mexico Secretary of State’s office is not saying much about whether some 17-year-olds will be able to vote in the upcoming New Mexico primary elections. During the 2016 legislative session, a bill passed that allows those who will turn 18 before the general election to participate in primary elections. Gov. Susana Martinez signed the bill into law following the session. Still, it is unclear whether the Secretary of State’s office will be ready to accept votes from that age group during the primary on June 7.
The Secretary of State’s Chief of Staff Ken Ortiz told NM Political Report in an email that the office is “exploring the legal options to assure the law is implemented appropriately.” He did not provide an answer to a direct question on whether 17-year-olds would be able to vote in the upcoming primaries.
Viki Harrison, the executive director of voting advocacy group Common Cause New Mexico, told NM Political Report that her group is planning a campaign to encourage eligible young adults to register before May 8, which is the deadline to register for the primary. “They need to get their procedures figured out,” Harrison said.
Harrison said it is important to engage with young voters in order to keep them involved in the political process. “Let’s make it a habit now so people vote their entire lives,” Harrison said.