New Mexico Secretary of State

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. 

Canva / Free Media License Agreement

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.

Element5 Digital via Unsplash / Creative Commons

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.

Ed Williams / KUNM

Early voting is underway for the Nov. 2 local elections across the state. While most municipalities have opted to participate, close to a third have not, choosing instead to maintain control over their own elections rather than have their counties run them.

Nash Jones / KUNM

Election day is Nov. 2, but the early voting period kicks off Tuesday, Oct. 5, for the 2021 local elections across New Mexico. 

No More Normal: A Year In Pandemic Part 2

Apr 4, 2021
Vanessa Bowen

2020 was a long year. We don't have to tell you. It was a constant barrage of reality-shaping events, and it hasn’t stopped. What is different for us now that we are on the verge of—maybe, knock on wood—coming out of the pandemic? How are the leaders we elected approaching their duties now? How are activists applying what they’ve learned to push their causes forward? How are the people who experienced hardship pre-pandemic adapting to a possible post-pandemic life? No More Normal reflects on last year while keeping our focus on the future.

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

N.M. Election Official: Poll Watchers Not Allowed To Interfere With Voting

Oct 12, 2020
Melorie Begay / KUNM News

Voting by mail is underway in New Mexico and across the country, and President Trump’s false claims about election fraud have raised anxiety about the security of absentee ballots. His campaign has also called for an “army” of poll watchers, stoking fears of interference by armed far-right groups. No More Normal host Khalil Ekulona spoke with New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver about prohibitions against voter intimidation and how she’s confident that ballots mailed by Oct. 27 will be counted as they should.

New Mexico in Focus


Early voting has already started in some states like Pennsylvania and Michigan. In New Mexico, absentee ballots will start going out October 6 and early voting starts October 17. KUNM’s Kaveh Mowahed spoke with Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, who said folks can avoid a busy polling place by requesting an absentee ballot by October 20.

Nash Jones / KUNM

The Postal Service is experiencing delays as we approach a November election that may see an unprecedented number of ballots cast by mail. Some voters are worried, but both the U.S. Postal Service and New Mexico election regulators say voters should feel confident dropping their ballots in the mail.