If you haven’t voted in the last two major elections and still want to be a registered voter, you may want to make a visit or call the county clerk’s office before the next election. According to County Clerk Rosalie Riley, the clerk’s office was instructed by Gov. Susana Martinez to remove from its list any voters who have not recently participated in an election. “It was mandatory by the state,” Riley said. “We had 3,230 names on our list to purge, and we’ve only had eight on that list who were saved.” The list, according to Riley, came from New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran.Full Article: Inactive voters to be removed from registered list - Clovis News Journal.
New Mexico: House OKs voter ID bill that was previously blocked in committee | The Santa Fe New Mexican
In the past, it was almost an annual ritual in the New Mexico House of Representatives: Republicans would introduce bills to require most voters to show photo identification at the polls, and Democrats would vote them down in committee. But early Tuesday morning, what would have been impossible before the GOP took control of the House in the last election actually happened: The House passed a voter ID bill. At about 1:30 a.m., after a three-hour debate, the House voted 36-26 along party lines to pass House Bill 340, sponsored by Rep. Cathrynn Brown, R-Carlsbad. It now goes to the Democrat-controlled Senate, where it is bound to have a tougher time.Full Article: House OKs voter ID bill that was previously blocked in committee - The Santa Fe New Mexican: Legislature | 2014 New Mexico Legislative Session.
Tension between the two former secretary of state candidates played out in a state House committee hearing over a bill that would give New Mexico’s top elections administrator authority in preventing nonbinding advisory questions from inclusion on ballots. The bill, introduced by Rep. Zach Cook, R-Lincoln, stems from the inclusion of what amount to polling questions, that carry no legal weight, placed on ballots by three counties for last year’s November elections. In September, the state Supreme Court granted Santa Fe and Bernalillo counties a petition to include a question on the statewide November ballot asking voters whether they supported marijuana decriminalization.Full Article: Duran, Oliver Tension Plays out at Roundhouse.
State Rep. Eliseo Alcon held up his right hand where everyone in the room could see it and squeezed his thumb and forefinger tightly together. It was his demonstration to show exactly how negligible the problem of voter fraud is in New Mexico, in his estimation. Alcon, D-Milan, summed up the objections several groups had expressed Saturday to two proposals that would require voters to present identification documents before casting ballots. Opponents argued that the legislation would chill participation in elections — particularly among women, minority groups and senior citizens — when its aim is to thwart voter fraud, an activity that there’s scant evidence of in the state. “Neither one of these bills do anything but hurt a small percentage of people” who are eligible to vote but don’t possess identification cards with photos, Alcon said. But neither critics of the proposals nor New Mexico’s Republican Secretary of State Dianna Duran, who backed the more rigid of the two plans considered by the House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee, got their way.Full Article: State House committee OKs middle-road bill on voter ID - The Santa Fe New Mexican: Legislature | 2014 New Mexico Legislative Session.
New Mexico: Secretary of State withholds support for voter ID bill that doesn’t require photos | Farmington Daily Times
Secretary of State Dianna Duran, who was re-elected in November after stressing her support for a photo identification requirement at polling places, is not supporting a bipartisan voter ID bill crafted by a Republican House member and a Democratic senator. Instead, she favors a more restrictive bill. In a memo issued Thursday, titled “Secretary of State’s Office 2015 Legislative Priorities,” Duran’s staff wrote that House Bill 61, sponsored by Rep. Rep. Jim Smith, R-Sandia Park, “allows for something less than full photo voter ID.” A yet-to-be-introduced bill by Republican Rep. Cathrynn Brown of Carlsbad, however, “does propose full photo ID,” according to the memo, which said Duran’s office “worked with Rep. Brown on the drafting of her bill.” Brown said Friday that her bill is still in the drafting stage. Smith is the newly appointed chairman of the House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee — to which all voter ID bills will be referred.Full Article: Secretary of State Duran withholds support for voter ID bill that doesn't require photos - Farmington Daily Times.
Incumbent state Land Commissioner Ray Powell asked the state Supreme Court on Monday to temporarily halt an automatic recount of votes in the contested land commissioner race, alleging the state Canvassing Board has violated state law and the election code. The last unofficial election results showed Powell, a Democrat, losing by a 704-vote margin to Republican challenger Aubrey Dunn out of 499,666 votes cast, or about 0.14 percent of the votes. State law calls for an automatic recount when the margin between two statewide candidates is less than half of 1 percent of ballots cast. Dunn maintained a slim lead through post-election canvassing by county clerks and the state Canvassing Board. But Powell alleges there have been several irregularities, including the vote recount order approved by the state Canvassing Board on Nov. 25.Full Article: Powell asks court to block recount - The Taos News: News.
New Mexico: State GOP: Powell ‘manipulating’ recount in land commissioner race | The Santa Fe New Mexican: Local News
The state Republican Party on Wednesday attacked incumbent state Land Commissioner Ray Powell, accusing him of “manipulating the system” and “maneuvering of Democratic provisional ballots” in an effort to hang on to his office. The emailed fundraising appeal on behalf of GOP candidate Aubrey Dunn in the closely contested land commissioner race was sent a day after the state Supreme Court suspended an automatic recount of votes cast during the Nov. 4 general election, pending a hearing before justices scheduled for Monday. The court’s order came in response to a petition filed by Powell, a Democrat, in which he alleged that the recount procedure outlined in an order issued by the state Canvassing Board doesn’t comply with the state constitution and election laws.Full Article: State GOP: Powell 'manipulating' recount in land commissioner race - The Santa Fe New Mexican: Local News.
Over the past decade, Republicans in the Legislature have repeatedly introduced legislation to require voters to show photo identification at the polls, only to watch the bills die in committees run by Democrats. Next year could be different with the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in the election last week. With a 37-33 majority, House Republicans will be able to get a photo voter ID bill through that chamber. The question is what would happen to it upon arrival in the Senate, where Democrats retain a 25-17 voting edge. Republican Secretary of State Dianna Duran, who made her support of photo voter ID a major theme of her successful re-election campaign, believes there is a chance of Senate approval. Some Democratic senators may be rethinking their positions after the GOP grabbed control of the House for the first time in more than a half-century, Duran says.Full Article: Long-stalled voter ID legislation gets new life | Albuquerque Journal News.
The Secretary of State’s office is pushing back against a newspaper article in the Santa Fe New Mexican that says Sharpies have been recalled from polling offices. The article said, “All 33 county clerks were to remove Sharpie pens from voting sites Thursday at the direction of Secretary of State Dianna Duran.” The article says that Sharpies were replaced by Papermate Flair pens. The Secretary of State’s office referred to it as a “sensational report.” Scott Krahling, the supervisor of the Doña Ana County Bureau of Elections, told NM Telegram that there was no order for county clerks to remove Sharpie pens from voting sites.Full Article: Sharpies still OK for ballots, but counties received new markers | New Mexico Telegram.
The state Supreme Court on Monday ordered election workers to postpone the mailing of general-election ballots this weekend until the court can decide whether it’s legal for the county to add advisory questions to the ballot. The court order came shortly after Bernalillo County filed an emergency petition Monday asking justices to intervene and authorize the addition of two advisory questions – one centering on marijuana decriminalization, the other on raising taxes for mental-health programs. The Supreme Court agreed to hear oral arguments at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 23 – next Tuesday. County election workers had faced a Saturday deadline to begin mailing absentee ballots to voters outside New Mexico, such as military personnel stationed overseas, but justices ordered them to hold off until the court takes further action. Election results for the two questions wouldn’t be binding. They simply ask voters for their opinion.Full Article: NM high court will hear Bernalillo County ballot case | Albuquerque Journal News.
New Mexico: Reports: Motor Vehicle Department has voting registration problems | New Mexico Telegram
Reports say the state is having problems with voter registration at Motor Vehicle Department offices around the state. The state is required, by federal law “to provide individuals with the opportunity to register to vote at the same time that they apply for a driver’s license or seek to renew a driver’s license, and requires the State to forward the completed application to the appropriate state of local election official.” Oriana Sandoval, the policy director of the Center for Civic Policy*, told KOAT that she was unable to register to vote at an MVD office recently when she went to renew her driver’s license. Sandoval told Action 7 News last week she tried to renew her voter registration at a downtown MVD. Rather than having it done simultaneously with the license renewal, she was handed a piece of paper with directions on how to sign up to vote online, on a home or work computer. “I would’ve used a kiosk at the MVD, but there wasn’t one available at the downtown office,” Sandoval said.Full Article: Reports: MVD has voting registration problems | New Mexico Telegram.
Voting Blogs: New Mexico Secretary of State Revives 21-Year Old Discredited Attorney General Opinion to Remove Green and Constitution Parties from Ballot | Ballot Access News
New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna J. Duran, a Republican, recently removed the Green Party and the Constitution Party from the ballot, even though both parties successfully petitioned in 2012 and even though, for the last seventeen years, New Mexico law has been interpreted to mean that when a party successfully petitions for party status, it gets the next two elections, not just one election. The Secretary of State found a discredited 1992 Attorney General’s Opinion that says a party should be removed, after just one election, if it runs for either Governor or President and fails to get one-half of 1%. Yet, the Opinion says if a party qualifies by petition and then doesn’t run for either Governor or President, it remains on the ballot for the next election.Full Article: Ballot Access News - New Mexico Secretary of State Revives 21-Year Old Discredited Attorney General Opinion to Remove Green and Constitution Parties from Ballot.
New Mexico: Secretary of State opposes bill that would streamline voting process | Santa Fe Reporter
… State Rep. Nate Cote, D-Doña Ana … has a package of bills designed to prevent such a catastrophe in the future. Yet one is being opposed by the very official who oversees New Mexico’s elections, Secretary of State Dianna Duran. Duran, who served as Otero County clerk from 1989 to 1993, has connections to the same office that critics blame for the Chaparral fiasco. “Let’s face it, that’s where the Secretary of State comes from,” Cote says. (Duran did not respond to SFR’s request for comment.) One of Cote’s bills would require an early voting site within 50 miles of population areas representing at least 1,500 registered voters. (Last election, the closest early voting site for Otero County Chaparral residents was in Alamogordo, roughly 85 miles away.) A second bill would establish stricter guidelines for voting center staff and resources on Election Day. Duran’s office has neither endorsed nor opposed the latter bill, but Guerra says it’s unnecessary because she’s already planning to add more staff for upcoming elections. Duran’s office does oppose the early voting bill, arguing that the Chaparral mess happened because two voting precincts were represented by one election board and one polling place.Full Article: Vote No: Secretary of State opposes bill that would streamline voting process.
New Mexico: GOP attempt to institute voter ID fails in Chaparral vote chaos fix | New Mexico Telegram
The members of the Republican Party in the House attempted a backdoor maneuver at adding voter ID language to state law. The effort was to add an amendment to a loosely-related bill — one that would increase voter access in Chaparral, where long lines plagued the area. The amendment was tabled 38-31. The final bill, sponsored by Rep. Nate Cote, D-Las Cruces, would require an early voting site for a population center of more than 1,500 residents that is more than 50 miles from the nearest early voting site. The bill passed on a 38-31 vote. The Secretary of State’s office was not on board with the legislation.Full Article: GOP attempt to institute voter ID fails in Chaparral vote chaos fix | New Mexico Telegram.
Money for new vote-counting machines around New Mexico has been folded into a $122.6 million package of statewide public works projects that members of a House committee were considering late Monday. The $6 million for vote-counting machines, or tabulators, was requested by Secretary of State Dianna Duran and would be the first infusion of cash needed to replace outdated machines used by county clerks statewide. “We would not be able to replace all the machines with that money,” Duran’s chief of staff, Ken Ortiz, said Monday. A revised version of a $122.6 million capital outlay package, House Bill 337, includes 121 public works projects around the state. Here are the five biggest projects by dollar amount: Money for the new vote-counting machines is one of the biggest revisions in the public works – or capital outlay – package that is larger than a previous Democratic-backed package. That $97 million version was held back this month amid concerns from Republican lawmakers that it was being rushed.Full Article: » Vote-counting machines in $122M capital package | ABQ Journal.
Senate Democrats have introduced a bill to reinstate straight-party ticket voting in New Mexico. Before the 2012 election, New Mexico voters could select every Democratic or Republican candidate on the ballot by checking a single box at the top of the page. But Secretary of State Dianna Duran eliminated the decades-old practice last year, saying it was not specifically allowed by state law. “Without really any notice or any awareness, there was this change that was made that, I think, caused some confusion for individuals that went to the polls,” said Sen. Howie Morales, D-Silver City, a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 276 to restore the straight-party voting option.Full Article: » Bill Would Reinstate Straight-Party Vote | ABQ Journal.
Secretary of State Dianna Duran wants a federal court to take over a lawsuit brought by New Mexico Democrats to restore the option of straight party ticket voting in the general election. Duran’s office filed Monday with the U.S. District Court to remove the case from the state Supreme Court. Democrats asked the Supreme Court last week to order Duran, a Republican, to change ballots to allow New Mexico residents to vote for a party’s entire slate of candidate by making a single mark.Full Article: Local news in brief, Oct. 16, 2012 - The Santa Fe New Mexican.
Unexpected general election costs have created a $1.4 million hole in the secretary of state’s budget, but the financial squeeze won’t prevent New Mexicans from casting ballots in November, according to New Mexico’s top elections official. Secretary of State Dianna Duran came up empty-handed Tuesday in asking the state Board of Finance for emergency funding for the $1.4 million costs of leased equipment that will print ballots at about 180 “voting convenience centers” in 15 counties. Those allow voters to go to a consolidated polling location most convenient to them rather than their traditional precinct-based voting site.Full Article: NM short of money for general election costs - Farmington Daily Times.
A voting rights activist and the wife of a Democratic state representative are among more than 177,000 New Mexico voters whose status has been deemed inactive. The move is raising questions about the criteria being used by Republican Secretary of State Dianna Duran as she begins a cleanup of voter rolls three months before the presidential elections.Full Article: Voter purge hits active voters | KUNM.
The postcards by the Secretary of State’s office that Dianna Duran said are designed to clean the voter rolls of inactive voters and those who have moved are reaching at least some who do not fit either definition. And those who have received them say they are confusing. The mailers say in bold letters, “Confirmation of Voter Registration” and, “Please detach complete and return this postcard no later than Oct 9, 2012.” In smaller letters below, the postcard says: If this card is not returned and you do not vote in any election from the date of this notice through the November, 2014 general election, your name will be removed from the voter registration list. And the postcards are causing confusion over whether or not the recipients have to reply to the postcards to be eligible to vote.Full Article: Voter purge postcards sent to active voters | New Mexico Telegram.