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Secretary Of State Expects Big Turnout On Election Day, Advises Voters To Avoid Rush Hour Lines

Hannah Colton
Voters lined up at the Bernalillo County Clerk's Annex during early voting.

Tuesday, Nov. 3, is Election Day and despite record turnout during early voting in New Mexico, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver says there may still be long lines at the polls. 

More than 770,000 ballots were already cast during the early voting period. That’s over 95% of the total votes cast in New Mexico in the 2016 general election.  State election officials say that record early vote tally may mean that heavy turnout continues on Election Day. 

For voters with more flexible schedules looking to make a quicker stop, the Toulouse Oliver says that while she anticipates polls to be busy all day, there are a couple of “lull times... around 9:30 or 10:00 in the morning, or around 1:30 or 2:00 in the afternoon.” Toulouse Oliver recommends voters go to the polls during those windows if they can, so “that way you’ll avoid the morning rush, the lunch-time rush, and the after-work rush.”

Her office plans to post reports of any extensive wait times on social media, though there’s not a statewide system for doing so. In the past, Bernalillo County provided live updates to voters about line lengths on Election Day, but that won’t be available this year. 

The polls open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3. If you’re in line by 7:00 p.m., they have to let you cast your ballot.

You do not have to present a photo ID in order to vote on Election Day in New Mexico, unless you registered by mail and did not include identification with your application then.  

Nash Jones (they/them) is a general assignment reporter in the KUNM newsroom and the local host of NPR's All Things Considered (weekdays on KUNM, 5-7 p.m. MT). You can reach them at nashjones@kunm.org or on Twitter @nashjonesradio.
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