Mandy Vigil

Nash Jones / KUNM

The state requires permanent ballot drop boxes be secured, enabling them to be available outdoors 24/7 and serving as a COVID-safe and convenient way to vote. With early voting well underway, the clerk for the state’s largest county said their drop boxes remain unsecured. She blames the state’s vendor for the delay. 

Nash Jones / KUNM

In order to increase voting access, a new state rule requires each county to provide one secured ballot drop box for every 25,000 voters with a minimum of two. The Bernalillo County Clerk disagrees with the Secretary of State’s Office about what that means. 

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Next month’s local elections are the first since the state required counties provide a minimum number of secured ballot drop boxes to ensure voters have sufficient access. But according to the Secretary of State’s Office, nearly half won’t have enough and the majority of those don't have permission.

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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.