Episode 49 is all about the elections that are still coming up and the 2020 census. Advocates tell us that New Mexico is hard to count because it's big, area-wise, and because plenty of communities are intentionally discouraged from filling it out through fear tactics. The census determines how much federal funding comes to the state for all kinds of programs over the next 10 years, and it's how voting districts are determined. If brown and black communities around the U.S. don't participate in the census, advocates tell us, their political power is diluted.
Some elections and census dates you should know:
- May 5: If you are not registered to vote yet and you want to vote in the primary, this is the deadline.
- May 28: The last day you can request an absentee ballot to vote by mail in the primary
- June 2: This is primary election day proper, and its also the day you have to return that absentee ballot you got in the mail.
- Oct. 29: Voter registration deadline for the general election
- Oct. 31: Deadline for filling out the census. It got extended because of the pandemic.
- Nov. 3: Election Day
In this episode, we hear from:
- Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver
- Isaac De Luna from the Center for Civic Policy
- Felipe Rodriguez, the NM Dream Team campaign manager
- Cathryn McGill, chairwoman of the Complete Count Committee and creator of the Tiny Census Concerts
- Anni Leming from the New Mexico Asian Family Center
- Jose Viramontes from i Count NM
- Ahtza Dawn Chavez, executive director of the NAVA Education Project
We also hear an interview with KUNM's Nash Jones and New Mexico Republican Party Chairman Steve Pearce, who says the state's GOP does not endorse Take Back New Mexico's call for businesses to re-open this week in violation of the shutdown order.
And a news update: Tests that can tell whether people have antibodies to the virus and might be immune are coming to New Mexico, according to the Albuquerque Journal. Studies from other parts of the country say 50 times as many people who’ve been diagnosed with COVID have the antibodies. A doctor here is speculating that might mean a few hundred thousand people in New Mexico could be immune.
Today in New Mexico, there were 169 new cases, with 105 of those coming from the northwest region of the state that overlaps with the Navajo Nation. And there were seven more deaths, bringing the total to 78 here.
We're keeping a complete list of the resources and volunteer opportunities that we find for each episode at bit.ly/YNMGhub. And here's what we got from today.
- 2020census.gov has the census questionnaire. It's quick and easy.
- Be entertained while you go about your civic duty by heading to TinyCensusConcert.com
- Request your absentee ballot so you can vote by mail here at the SOS website.
- And if you need a grocery card, check out the New Mexico - Asian and Pacific Islander Supplemental Aid Project
How are things going for you? We want to know. Share your quarantine stories by calling: (505) 218-7084 and leaving us a message. We could roll them into a future episode.
Your New Mexico Government is a collaboration between KUNM, New Mexico PBS, and the Santa Fe Reporter. Funding for our coverage is provided, in part, by the Thornburg Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the New Mexico Local News Fund.