Election 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.

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. 

Hannah Colton


Leaders with the Black New Mexico Movement have been out multiple times in the leadup to this election demonstrating for racial justice and working to get folks registered to vote. That’s what they were doing last month at a rally in Rio Rancho when their event was overtaken by counter-protestors. No More Normal executive producer Marisa Demarco spoke with BNMM organizer Barbara Jordan about her priorities this election season and racism in the city she calls home.

Courtesy of Georgia Petropoulos

Politicians and judges on your ballot this year have made decisions in response to the coronavirus pandemic that immediately impacted the health of the community—and the economy. These decisions affected the small business of Georgia Petropoulos, who owns Casa San Pablo, a senior living home in Albuquerque, and now inform her vote.

Courtesy of Claire Porter

The federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic is on the ballot this year as President Trump runs for reelection in a country that’s seen over 7 million people test positive for COVID-19 and over 210,000 die from the virus. Middle school teacher Claire Porter, who’s currently on medical leave, spoke with KUNM about how her family’s experience of the pandemic underpins her vote for a different federal approach.

New Mexico PBS

NMPBS Election Special 10/15, 8a: Rep. Deb Haaland (Democrat) is seeking a second term in this year’s First Congressional District campaign, against challenger Michelle Garcia Holmes (Republican). The district spans much of central New Mexico, including most of Bernalillo and Torrance Counties, parts of Sandoval, Santa Fe and Valencia Counties as well as several Pueblos. The seat has not elected a Republican since 2008, but has boasted some big historical names from the party, including Heather Wilson and Steve Schiff. New Mexico in Focus host Gene Grant sat down with both of the candidates, for in-depth interviews on the policies and issues they are focusing on to try and win a seat in Congress for the next two years.

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.

Bert Benally

Let’s take a breath. In episode 12, we try to fend off that wild pandemic election news cycle we’ve been living inside of, which can feel like a deluge of disorganized tragedies and failures. And we put the focus on what’s hanging in the balance these next couple of weeks as we cast our ballots.

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