KUNM

Voices Behind the Vote

May Ortega | KUNM

 

Immigration is one of this election’s biggest issues.

Tammy WilkersonHill-Fisher teaches English as a second language with the Immigrant and Refugee Resource Village of Albuquerque, and that's definitely one of her biggest political drivers.

buschap via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Let's Talk New Mexico 11/1 8a: The 2018 mid-term election is just days away on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. New Mexico voters will choose our next governor and candidates for U.S. Senate, Congress, and the state Legislature among other offices. What's driving you to the polls this year? What are the issues that you care most about this election? Are you hopeful and excited about the candidates? Or do partisan divisions and nasty campaign ads sour you on the democratic process? Maybe you can't vote, but you'd like to. Or maybe you are choosing not to vote. We'd like to hear from you. Email LetsTalk@kunm.org or call in live during the show. 

On a windy weekday, KUNM went to a modest farm in Albuquerque’s South Valley. From there we continue our Voices Behind the Vote series with a voter who’s concerned about his livestock, government spending, and his children’s futures.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

New Mexico’s next governor will inherit the task of turning around a struggling public education system. This year a judge ruled the state has violated the constitutional rights of at-risk students, including those with disabilities, and must make changes to give everyone an adequate education.

May Ortega | KUNM

 

Voters aged 18 to 35 usually have the country’s lowest turnout rate at the polls. But Tracy Chamberlin, a young manager for G by GUESS in the Coronado Center, has made it her goal to get her peers more involved in politics.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Lots of people don’t vote because they don’t see candidates they identify with or they don’t think their vote counts for much. KUNM spoke with a student who's got a lot on his mind, including felony charges and an upcoming trial date. Even so, he says he’s getting informed and getting to the polls for the first time this election.

Fibonacci Blue / Creative Commons Attribution License

 

Gun control is an issue driving at least one local to the polls and to an Albuquerque gun show.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Nearly a quarter of New Mexican voters this year are not registered as Democrats or Republicans. 

That includes Kevin Elfering and Marla Hanno, who have lived in Rio Rancho for ten years, much of their retirement since they moved from Minnesota. They don’t identify with either major party, and say each election season they spend considerable time watching debates and reading up on candidates before casting their ballots. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Candidates in this year’s presidential election have been tight-lipped about the fight against an oil pipeline in North Dakota and how demonstrators there are being treated by police. That’s weighing on Sharon Chavez, who is Navajo and Hopi-Tewa. She’s a retired educator who’s lived in San Felipe Pueblo for 47 years. She talked with KUNM about what it means for her as a woman to vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton for president.

Courtesy of Yesenia Luna

Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump has escalated the national battle over immigration and race in America with his views on Mexican immigrants and building a wall for border security. KUNM talked to Yesenia Luna, a pre-law student at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, about how the national rhetoric affected her ballot.

The opioid epidemic is a national crisis, and in Northern New Mexico it’s a problem that’s been around for decades.

For the latest in our Voices Behind the Vote series, KUNM visited the home of an addiction counselor in Rio Arriba County to hear about her thoughts on substance abuse and the presidential race.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Mountainair is a small town in New Mexico about an hour and a half southeast of Albuquerque. It’s got one streetlight and one gas station. Pastor Darrell Roberts says he likes living out in the open where people look at things from a humble perspective and live a simpler—if usually less affluent—lifestyle.

As part of our Voices Behind The Vote series, KUNM talked with Pastor Roberts about what matters to him as Election Day comes down the tracks.

Ed Williams

Sexual assault, gender equality and women’s reproductive rights have taken center stage this election season, with controversial comments by Donald Trump galvanizing some voters’ support for Hillary Clinton.

KUNM met with one of those voters at a restaurant in Santa Fe to find out why she’s supporting the Democratic presidential ticket.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

If you live in a rural part of New Mexico where your nearest neighbor is miles away, it could be tempting to just tune out this year’s election. But David Doler says he can’t ignore things like Social Security, Medicare or any talk of infringing on a person’s right to keep and bear arms.

Sarah Trujillo / KUNM

New Mexico’s struggled to recover fully from the recession, and it can still be a real challenge to find steady work in the state. That’s central to how 18-year-old Quinton Valencia is casting his vote this year. KUNM tagged along with Valencia as he applied for a job at Target in Rio Rancho.

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