Tuesday, Nov. 5, is Election Day, and all over the state, people will be choosing their local leaders and making decisions about where bond money should go. The polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The state tried out two new things this cycle as officials look to make voting more convenient.
Local elections were consolidated this year around New Mexico. Instead of people heading to the polls a couple times a year to answer a single ballot question or vote on just their local school board, for instance, they’ll see several political races and issues on their ballots at once.
And for the first time, people could register or update their registration and also cast a ballot on the same day during the early voting period. Alex Curtas, spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s Office, said this didn’t cause any problems for the state’s clerks, and hundreds of voters used it. "These are over 2,000 people that may otherwise not have participated in this election," he said. "So when you look at it that way, I don’t think you can say anything other than it’s been quite a success to have same-day voter registration in New Mexico."
Because it’s a different kind of election—a consolidated one—it’s hard to make a numbers comparison with previous years to see if these new processes boosted voter turnout, Curtas said.
Same-day registration is not an option on Election Day proper this year, and it won’t be next year either. That feature will be rolled out in 2021.
If you have any questions about voting or want to see a sample ballot, go to NMvote.org.