Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

As early voting expands, more than 27,000 New Mexicans cast their votes in primaries • Source New Mexico

May is basically early voting month in the lead-up to the 2024 primary Election Day on Tuesday, June 4.

More sites statewide are open for voters to cast ballots early in the New Mexico primary elections, and will continue to be open until Saturday, June 1.

Polls will reopen for Election Day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Since voting opened May 7, the Secretary of State Office said 27,688 people have cast ballots, with nearly 60% of those coming to the polls in-person.

An additional 11,474 people returned their absentee ballots already. That is almost a third of the more than 35,000 voters that requested absentee ballots for the primary election as of Monday, according to the Secretary of State.

New Mexico holds “modified open primaries,” meaning you must be a member of a recognized party. In this state that is either the Democratic, Republican or Libertarian major parties. The Green Party of New Mexico, considered a minor party, does not have a primary which means that their candidates will appear on the ballot in November. Voters can only select candidates in their registered party.

Independent voters account for about 25% of New Mexico’s voting populations. Anyone that is not affiliated with a party can change their registration at polling places in-person, using same-day registration. After picking their party, they can vote on the same day.

Already, 493 voters across the state used same-day registration when casting their votes, according to the New Mexico Secretary of State Office. When signing up, 270 registered as Democrats, 215 registered as Republicans and 8 people registered as Libertarians.

Voters already affiliated with a major party cannot switch their party and vote on the same day.

For voters wanting to send a ballot through the mail, the deadline to request an absentee ballot is Tuesday, May 21. That can be done anytime online or during office hours if in-person at a county clerk’s office.

Voters can also sign up to permanently add themselves to a list, and receive their ballots each election in the mail, instead of having to request an absentee ballot request individually.

For some races, the primary is the only contested election between candidates, meaning they will not face an opponent in the November General Election.

CORRECTION: This article was corrected on May 20, 2024 at 4:20 p.m. to show that the Green Party candidates do not have a primary election.[/sidebar]

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