Election 2020

No More Normal: Consequences

Jan 24, 2021
Scott Greene

  

Our democracy is being tested right now. It is not the first time. But it feels like a tipping point, and our very lives are in the balance. Can we find truth? Will we come to a place of peace? Can we resolve not to look the other way when the view is uncomfortable? Will those who stormed the Capitol, who aided and abetted seditionists, and who proliferated racism and dangerous lies, face punishment? Episode 18 is all about the fallout.

No More Normal: How We Got Here

Jan 17, 2021
Sharon Chischilly for the Daily Lobo

Anyone who’s been paying attention to racism and white privilege in this country knows that what happened in D.C. has been brewing a long time. There’s a lot of good research and reporting happening right now outlining what’s been missed, suppressed and ignored when it comes to the rise of extremist militias in the U.S. We get into it in episode 17.

Ted Eytan / Wikimedia Commons

  A lockdown was imposed at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, in response to a mob of hundreds of pro-Trump extremists who stormed the building. Freshman U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez, who represents New Mexico’s northern third congressional district, was inside with her colleagues conducting the people’s business of certifying the electoral college results. Hours later, KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona checked in with the representative.

 

Margaret Wright

On Saturday, Nov. 7, just after the presidential race was called for Biden, hundreds turned up on the steps of the state’s capital for a rally against election results--though there has not yet been evidence of fraud. And a quick content warning: This story contains antagonism based in transphobia.  

Wow, we just had a tense bunch of days, each one filled with anticipation and impatience and consternation. From people worrying about how the election was going to play out, to some keeping an eye on potential violence, it would be an understatement to say that anxieties were high. It makes sense, 2020 has been mad anxious as my East Coast compatriots would say. But the electoral college digits that just wouldn’t move are not the only numbers the United States has to grapple with. Most of the country spent so much of their attention on the election, news of record- breaking new covid cases barely cut through the din. No matter who’s in charge, we’ve got a lot in front of us.

KUNM / Creative Commons

This week, New Mexico voters blew past turnout records of years past, and pushed the state Senate further to the left. That means that in the next legislative session, some policies and plans might be on the table that weren’t before. KUNM's Megan Kamerick spoke with Marjorie Childress, who wrote about the progressive shift for New Mexico In Depth.

On Tuesday, Nov. 3, New Mexico made history by electing its first U.S. House delegation composed of all women of color. Yvette Herrell, Teresa Leger Fernandez and Deb Haaland also make up the largest ever all-woman House delegation to Congress.

Yasmin Khan / KUNM

Election Day 2020 was unique amid the COVID-19 pandemic with historic statewide turnout and record-high absentee ballots cast in New Mexico. Alex Curtas, Communications Director for New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, said Wednesday, Nov. 4, that only a small amount of absentee ballots remain uncounted across the state and that no distruptions at the polls were reported. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Many people have been concerned this election season about voter intimidation and violence at the polls, and groups of New Mexicans mobilized to protect voting rights in their communities. Bernalillo County election officials say Election Day passed without significant problems.

cmh2315fl via Flickr / Creative Commons

New Mexico Democrats Gain Steam For Progressive Priorities -  By Morgan Lee and Cedar Attanasio Associated Press

New Mexico Democrats gained steam in Tuesday's election, giving momentum in the state legislature for progressive priorities on marijuana, education, and abortion.

Voices Behind The Vote: Counting On Community

Nov 4, 2020
Hannah Colton / KUNM

Record numbers of people have turned out to cast ballots across the country this election, despite confidence in American democracy among citizens being at its lowest since researchers started keeping track 25 years ago. Many voters are participating in the electoral system while looking outside of it for hope or solutions. Among them is Leon M. Powell, who spoke with KUNM for this final installment of our 2020 Voices Behind The Vote series.

Jpawela via Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons

New Mexico’s second congressional district race is a rematch of 2018, when Democratic Rep. Xochitl Torres Small defeated Republican Yvette Herrell by fewer than 4,000 mostly absentee votes. This year, once again, the southern district could see a close race with absentee ballots playing an important role. KUNM caught up with the candidates the morning of Election Day to discuss lessons learned from 2018, and how they’re feeling the second time around. 

Provisional Ballot Problem In Sandoval County

Nov 3, 2020
Hannah Colton / KUNM

Say you went to vote on Election Day 2020, and the poll worker could not find your registration information in the computer system. In that case, you’re supposed to get what’s called a provisional ballot. You fill it out along with a form. It’s set in a separate pile, and later, someone will try to find your registration information to see if your vote can be counted. But the morning of Election Day, at least a few polling locations in Sandoval County could not print provisional ballots.

Vanessa Bowen

This election is a crucial one, and amid the deluge of content on social media, it can be tough to sort out the facts from rumors or disinformation that may stoke baseless fears about the election process or its outcomes. KUNM spoke with Roberta Rael, executive director of Generation Justice, about how to avoid spreading fake news this week.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Tuesday, Nov. 3, is Election Day and despite record turnout during early voting in New Mexico, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver says there may still be long lines at the polls. 

No More Normal: We Need A Plan

Nov 1, 2020
Eric J. Garcia / El Machete Illustrated

The final presidential debate of 2020 got passing marks because the candidates managed to take turns. But rarely did they roll out the kind of action plans the moderator was looking for. She kept asking: If elected, what will you do about this big problem we are facing? Still, candidates did not venture into specifics. We think that was by design. The strategy was, make debate No. 1 so bad that by the time debate No. 2 comes around, expectations are so low, everyone will just be grateful it’s not incoherent shouting and call it good. But in a time with multiple crises pressing down on us, specific plans can pull people together, provide direction and alleviate anxiety. So that’s what this episode is all about. What do you want to hear candidates talking about? What kinds of plans and policies do you wish they were outlining before the public?

Hannah Colton / KUNM

With a record number of absentee ballots requested in New Mexico, there are questions about how long it will take to find out the results of the 2020 election. State election officials say they’re hopeful they’ll have a final tally within a couple days of Election Day.

Delaney Brigman


Many first time voters have a lot on their mind this election cycle. College students are coming of age in an unprecedented time, with the COVID-19 pandemic, civil uprisings for racial justice, and accelerating climate change. They're trying to figure it all out while keeping up with remote classes and assignments. As part of our Voices Behind the Vote series, UNM freshman Delaney Brigman spoke with KUNM about why voting is important to her and what young people want from their politicians. 

courtesy of Teran Villa

 

As voters head to the polls, the disparate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are top of mind for many, as are the racial inequities baked into every aspect of American society. Teran Villa  is employed at the Pueblo of Jemez Department of Education and is working toward his Masters degree in Public Administration at the University of New Mexico. He spoke with KUNM for our Voices Behind The Vote series.

No More Normal: The Disinformation Age

Oct 25, 2020
Contributed by artist Larry Schulte

The NoMoNo team was talking about ideas for our election coverage in early August: The potential for violence, attempts to subvert the vote and the importance of media literacy. It is not hyperbole to state that for most of us, this is the most important election we have ever taken a part in. That said, it is imperative that we are not only informed about our voting rights, but we ensure they are protected. That means becoming savvy about misinformation and disinformation and the ways that you and some people you may know are possibly being manipulated. 

 

The decisions made by leaders and policy makers during the COVID-19 pandemic will have repercussions on small businesses across the state, and the economic effects of the public health crisis have hit Black and Brown communities hard. Antavius Greathouse, a financial advisor, has been paying attention. He spoke with KUNM for our Voices Behind The Vote series ahead of the election.

Nash Jones / KUNM


Let's Talk New Mexico 10/29, 8a: As winter approaches and COVID-19 continues to spread at an alarming rate, politicians will be making decisions that can mean life or death for their constituents. On this week's call-in show, we want to hear how things are going for you, and what you expect from the people you’re supporting at the ballot box. What lessons should our elected leaders learn from other countries that have avoided high death tolls? What do you hope to see from a next round of coronavirus aid money?

Tingey Injury Law Firm via Unsplash / CREATIVE COMMONS

On your ballot this fall, you’ll see some judges in contested elections, and others up for what’s called judicial retention. That’s because after a judge is appointed, they must run in a partisan election. After their first term, in order to stay on the bench, they just need 57% of voters to approve. For voters unsure of whether to check ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on a judge, the volunteer Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission (JPEC) was charged by the state Supreme Court to make recommendations on judicial retention. JPEC vice chair and retired district judge Jim Hall says the panel evaluates each judge in four major areas. 

Wikimedia Commons via CC


There are many ways to vote in New Mexico this election season. If you’ve requested an absentee ballot, you can return it by mail or in person. And if you’re not yet registered, or need to update your voter registration, you can still do that in person with same-day registration at many voting locations through the end of October.

Ty Bannerman

 

Protests against racial injustice have taken place in communities across the country this year, some focusing on calls to remove monuments to racist figures. Last week, on Indigenous People’s Day, an obelisk in the Santa Fe plaza that commemorated colonial violence against Indigenous people was pulled down by demonstrators. As part of our Voices Behind The Vote series, Santa Fe writer Darryl Lorenzo Wellington spoke with KUNM about what that community action meant to him in an election cycle that has seen racism take center stage.  

Election 2020: U.S. Senate Debate

Oct 20, 2020
New Mexico PBS

NMPBS Election Special 10/22, 8a: It’s a historic race for the U.S. Senate this year in New Mexico. Tom Udall announced in March of 2019 that he would not be running again in 2020, bringing an apparent end to a decades-long career of public service. Running to replace Senator Udall are current U.S.

No More Normal: The Real Crime

Oct 18, 2020
Lonnie Anderson

Attack ads and contemporary political rhetoric about crime have a disturbing campaign ancestor: The Willie Horton ad that may have cost Michael Dukakis the presidential election in 1988. It relied on racism for its efficacy, and it ushered in an era of so-called "tough-on-crime" laws and posturing that nearly broke criminal legal systems, like the one in Albuquerque. Executive Producer and longtime criminal justice reporter Marisa Demarco navigates in Episode 13 how racist, fear-based electioneering warped the country's approach to crime. That continues to this day, favoring quick vengeance over long-term solutions that might have a real impact on crime rates. It's an addictive cycle: These methods, in fact, might be a big part of creating the problem candidates are promising to solve with them when they're counting on fear to salvage their flagging campaigns. 

Canva

The structure of a commission charged primarily with regulating public utilities in New Mexico is on the ballot this fall as voters weigh Constitutional Amendment 1. If approved, the measure would see the Public Regulation Commission turn from an elected body to one made up of appointed commissioners. Some of the disagreements around the measure reflect differing views on what qualities a commissioner should have and what their priorities should be.

New Mexico PBS

NMPBS Election Special 10/16, 7p: Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (Democrat) is seeking a second term in this year’s Second Congressional District campaign in a rematch from 2018 against challenger Yvette Herrell (Republican). That election was decided by fewer than 4,000 votes. 

Yasmin Khan / KUNM

 

New Mexico has the highest percentage of Latinx and Hispanic voters of any state in the U.S.; according to the Pew Research Center, nearly 43% of eligible voters in the state are Hispanic. Isabel Calderon, a Peruvian graduate student, lives in the Barelas neighborhood near Downtown Albuquerque with her two young sons and her elderly mother. She spoke about the importance of exercising her right to vote as an immigrant and what issues she’s keeping in mind this election. 

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