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Are you voting on March 1? Election Day approaches for some New Mexicans

Nash Jones

Most local governments in New Mexico have opted in to the Regular Local Election, which happens every other November. But for those that haven’t, Election Day is coming up on March 1.

Early voting for the 2022 Municipal Officer Election is underway in 26 New Mexico villages, towns and cities, where all but seven are electing a mayor. There are also councilors, commissioners, trustees, and municipal judges on many ballots.

Rio Rancho is the largest city holding a March election, including bond measures and city charter amendments. City Clerk Rebecca Martinez says local elections are some of the most important.

“These are items that have the most impact in terms of local representation and just daily activities,” she said. “Roads, for instance. You have the ability to decide whether you want those to be repaired or not.”

Martinez says, while turnout is usually lower for local elections, the city has increased its early voting locations from four to six and nearly doubled its Election Day sites from six to 10 in hopes of making the ballot box more accessible. Rio Rancho is also implementing same-day registration in hopes of boosting participation.

“If you do show up to cast a ballot and you find that you’re not otherwise eligible, you can remedy that situation right on the spot and then cast a ballot,” she said.

In order to receive a ballot at a polling location in Rio Rancho, voters must present a photo identification that lists their name.

“That could include any card issued by a government agency [or] a student identification card. It could even be a credit card with the individual’s photo and name on it,” said Martinez.

Rio Rancho voters can request an absentee ballot online or by mail until Feb. 24. Postage is prepaid to mail it back, or it can be dropped off at any voting location. Sandoval County’s permanent ballot drop boxes will not available for this election.

“The Secretary of State was still working on procedures that would expand the use of the permanent absentee ballot drop boxes to municipalities," Martinez said. "That expansion did not go into implementation prior to the start of this election, therefore there was a decision not to use those. But we’ll certainly revisit that in municipal elections to come.”

The League of Women Voters of Central New Mexico has voter information for Sandoval County – where all six municipalities are holding a March election – and Valencia County, where Bosque Farms residents will be casting ballots.

Voters can also contact municipal clerk offices for more information on when, where and how to vote.

The following municipalities are holding elections on March 1, 2022:

Chaves County

Cibola County

Curry County

Eddy County

Guadalupe County

  • Santa Rosa

Lea County

Lincoln County

McKinley County

Rio Arriba County

Roosevelt County

San Miguel County

Sandoval County

Taos County

Valencia County

This story is part of our Your New Mexico Government project, a collaboration between KUNM and New Mexico PBS. Support for public media provided by the Thornburg Foundation.

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.