A woman casts her vote at the polls in Albuquerque during an election in June. (Chancey Bush/Journal)
Election Day was off to a busy start Tuesday morning with long lines at many voting sites in Albuquerque and statewide, according to Alex Curtas, a spokesman for the office of the Secretary of State.
In Albuquerque, things were running smoothly at the county’s 72 voting sites, and even where there was heavy turnout, the lines moved steadily, said Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover.
At Petroglyph Plaza on the West Side and at Daskalos Center in the Northeast Heights, voters were in line to cast a ballot even before the polls opened at 7 am and those lines continued to form all morning, said the presiding judges at those sites.
Voters who were willing to share their thoughts said the big issues for them were the economy, crime and abortion. Immigration and homelessness came up less frequently.
“Everything is going smoothly and we’re seeing a good turnout,” said Curtas. “As of 9 am, we’ve seen more than 41,000 people voting in-person statewide. There have been no reports of disruptions or harassment during the early voting period and so far today.”
To deal with any problems that may come up, a real-time virtual situation room has been set up with the participation of the secretary of state, county clerks, the Department of Information Technology and law enforcement departments, Curtas said.
“They will share information and communicate back and forth and have multiple check-ins for updates throughout the day,” he said.
By 11:45 am, more than 25,800 people cast a ballot at one of Bernalillo County’s 72 voting sites, Stover said. There have also been 134,419 people in the county who voted early and 38,657 absentee ballots returned she said.
“We’ve had to deal with the usual issues, like we had to replace one of the tabulator machines that had stopped working at one of the school sites, but there were 4-5 other tabulators there so it didn’t slow down anything ,” Stover said.
Check out the Journal’s election guide for more information.
Seventy-two locations will be open from 7 am to 7 pm for Bernalillo County voters to cast ballots in person or to hand-deliver completed absentee ballots. For a list of places to vote around Albuquerque click here.