Same-day registration won’t be available on Election Day this November

Oct 7, 2021

This year, New Mexico began allowing voters to register or update their registration immediately before casting their ballot on Election Day. That same-day registration was available for a special election in June, but it won’t be in next month’s election.

Same-day registration is always available during the early voting period at county clerk’s offices and at additional sites in some counties. Offering it on Election Day itself, however, requires approval from the Voting System Certification Committee.

Elections director with the Secretary of State’s Office, Mandy Vigil, told a panel of lawmakers last month that her office made that request for June’s special congressional election. 

“The committee approved it as a pilot program during that election,” she said. “We feel that that pilot was successful.”

Vigil told lawmakers that nearly 2% of voters in that election used the service. Nonetheless, her office is not requesting the go-ahead for next month’s Regular Local Election after getting feedback from participating counties. 

“There are some technical updates that our office is working on currently,” she said. A spokesperson for the Secretary of State said those updates include improvements to the County Clerks Portal, fixing a software bug and improving email notifications.

Vigil said they plan to present those to the committee before the 2022 primary. Meaning, for this election, those who show up at polling places to register to vote on Nov. 2 will be out of luck. 

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