Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver hopes to bring back straight party voting – possibly as soon as November – which would allow voters to check a single box to vote for a major party’s entire slate of candidates. However, critics of straight party voting say the practice gives an unfair advantage to major party candidates – especially Democrats – over those who are independent or affiliated with minor parties. And state Republican Party officials have indicated that they might pursue a court challenge if straight party voting is enacted. A Secretary of State’s Office spokesman said Toulouse Oliver intends to hold public hearings before implementing straight party voting, and it’s unclear whether that will happen in time for the Nov. 6 general election. But he insisted that state law gives the secretary of state the authority to unilaterally reimpose the voting option.
“There is nothing in state statute that would prohibit the secretary from restoring straight party voting,” spokesman Joey Keefe told the Journal.
“Straight ticket voting is an underhanded and potentially illegal power grab by an elected official who is supposed to referee partisan battles, not lead the charge,” state GOP Executive Director Ryan Gleason said. “Democrats are pursuing monolithic one-party control of every elected office in New Mexico and will openly undermine our democracy to get it.”