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Online absentee ballot application opens for NM primary election

An official mail-in ballot for the 2020 General Election
Matt Slocum
An official absentee ballot for the 2020 General Election.

The online application for absentee ballots for the June 4 New Mexico primary election opened Wednesday. For the first time, the application offers voters the option to receive an absentee ballot for all future elections, as well.

Previously, voters who wanted to fill out a ballot at home rather than at the polls had to request an absentee ballot for each election. As part of the New Mexico Voting Rights Act lawmakers passed last year, the state instituted a permanent absentee voter list. The upcoming primary is the first statewide election since it went into effect in January.

Joining the list is voluntary and voters can remove themselves at any time. Participants must have a New Mexico mailing address and cannot be a military or overseas voter.

County clerks will automatically send those who opt in an absentee ballot for every statewide election that includes their precinct. They’ll also remind voters that they’re on the list at least 49 days before each election.

Clerks can remove people from the list for not voting in two elections in a row, moving to another county, or having their ballot returned to sender.

Absentee ballot applications are due May 21 ahead of the June 4 primary election. County clerks will begin sending them out on May 7, when early voting begins.

Absentee ballots can be mailed back or hand-delivered to county clerks’ offices, polling locations or ballot drop boxes.

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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