NM Secretary of State defends removal of voter guides

Nov 1, 2012

New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran ordered all voter guides produced by the League of Women Voters removed from polling places in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Los Alamos, and Las Cruces this week.


Her office found that under a state voter law passed in 2011, the guides qualify as 'electioneering' because they contain candidate profiles submitted by the candidates themselves. Electioneering is prohibited within 100 feet of a polling location. “The law provides for sample ballots that has candidates names and what they are running for,” Duran explained.


According to reports, League of Women Voters organizers were surprised at the decision, noting their guides have been allowed at polling locations for many years. Critics of Secretary Duran have accused her of voter suppression, an allegation she vehemently denies. “For someone to suggest that this office is engaged in voter suppression or to not want people to be educated is garbage.”


Duran says the League of Women Voters guides can be distributed anywhere else in the state, “but our office is determined to follow state law,” she concluded.


The Secretary of State's office produces another voter guide that contains information about New Mexico's ballot issues, like constitutional amendments and bonds. Those guides are allowed at polling locations.