Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Where Albuquerque voters cast their votes

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – A controversial $ 50 million stadium loan issue and a heated race for mayor drew over 42,000 city voters on election day, following unofficial results from the Bernalillo County Clerk. Another 76,048 voted either early or absent.

In total, around 120,000 of the more than 370,000 voters registered in Albuquerque’s most recent local elections in 2021. These figures put this year’s turnout at around 32%, slightly higher than in the last mayoral election in 2017.

“We had a pretty good turnout,” says Linda Stover, Bernalillo’s district secretary who oversees the local elections. “I was really satisfied. It started to recover about a week before the election. “

Across the city, Republican voters had a slightly higher turnout than Democratic voters, according to data from the Bernalillo District Office. Of the 99,750 Republicans registered in Albuquerque, 38.75% voted. Slightly over 36% of Democrats voted, but there were a larger number of registered Democratic voters. Overall, Democratic voters nearly outnumbered Republicans, with 64,571 Democratic voters casting their vote, compared with 38,750 Republicans.

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Much of Bernalillo County is more democratic. Data from NM SOS.

KRQE News 13 has broken down the data by district, the smallest area for which election data is collected. Most of the boroughs across Albuquerque are multi-block and roughly the size of neighborhoods.

The data shows that Nob Hill and the Northeast Heights had the highest turnout. The race for City Council District 7 – which is roughly a square stretching from Los Altos Park north to Montgomery Boulevard and down to I-25, with Coronado Center and Uptown in the middle – had a particularly high turnout. Just over 40% of registered Republicans and Democrats turned up in this district to cast their votes.

“This is a real neighborhood club,” explains Stover. “These people meet very often. You have some indivisible groups in there. You have people who actually get out and knock on the door. “

Stover believes it was likely the football stadium bond issue and the mayor race that fueled turnout. “The mayor race got really controversial towards the end and these types of people got upset. Otherwise there wasn’t much to get excited about, ”she says.

The stadium loan was of course a clear “no” with almost 77,000 votes against. Overall, the opposition came from all over the city, but in general voters in the east of the city showed greater resistance.

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Most counties across Albuquerque voted “no” on the stadium bonds issue. Data from NMSOS.

The votes for the mayor’s race were more mixed. Unofficial results show that the majority of Tim Keller’s support came from central Albuquerque. In the Nob Hill area, over 80% of the mayoral ballots went to Keller.

Manny Gonzalez saw little support from the UNM and Nob Hill areas, where he received 20% or less of the votes cast. He saw stronger support from some districts on the outskirts. But in much of the Heights and West Side, Gonzales saw support from around 20 to 40% of the electorate.

The third candidate in the race, Eddy Aragon’s support, was low in the West Side, downtown, and the center of the city. He saw most of the support from Northeast Heights voters.

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Mayoral winner Tim Keller saw most of the support from across Albuquerque, but his greatest support came from the Nob Hill area. Data from NMSOS.

Across the city, turnout for mayoral elections in each district varied from less than 5% of registered voters to more than 50% of registered voters. The southwest corner of the city had a relatively low turnout, while Northeast Heights had, on average, much higher percentages of people voting in mayoral elections. There was also a relatively high turnout in the Nob Hill area, with around 50% of registered voters cast in some counties.

Nayomi Valdez, policy director at the New Mexico affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU-NM), says, “There has been a kind of unspoken acceptance that some people just don’t vote,” locally and across the country. During this election cycle, ACLU-NM was involved in bringing information to the public in order to get voters to vote on certain guidelines. But on the whole, “from the ACLU’s point of view, 100 percent voter turnout would be ideal,” she says.

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The turnout in the mayoral election varied across the city, with the high turnout being concentrated in several parts of the city. Data from NMSOS.

Valdez has worked on campaigns in the past and says it all comes down to money – limited finances, perhaps a little by mistake, mean certain people are less informed and less likely to vote.

“There are difficult decisions that different organizations make [and] Candidates have to think about where to spend their money, ”she says. “That’s why people who traditionally didn’t vote don’t get engaged.” It’s a cycle in which candidates tend to spend their money on people who are already more likely to vote. Therefore some groups are left out.

“It’s really unfortunate,” says Valdez. “It’s not okay for it to be done that traditionally.” But she says there has been “big mobilization” across the country to reach communities that have traditionally had low voter turnouts.

In Albuquerque, voter turnout in this year’s mayoral campaign seems to be correlated with socio-economic status. That said, in general, whiter neighborhoods had a higher turnout. In fact, data from the last election shows that for every 30 percent increase in the population in a district that identifies as white, the average turnout in the mayoral election has increased by about 20%.

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The more white residents live in a district, the higher the turnout for the 2021 mayor’s race. Data from NMSOS and the US Census Bureau. See Reporter’s Note at the end of the story for more information.

Bernalillo County Clerk, Linda Stover, says that while the county is not collecting demographic data that could help identify specific ethnic or socio-economic groups that were excluded from the election, their office has worked hard to disseminate and ensure information that people had different options to cast their vote.

“It’s so convenient with this early set-up. And then we have so many polling stations on election day, and then you can get postal votes, ”she says. “We make it really, really convenient for people to vote when they want to vote.”

Stover says she expects a similar turnout next month for the runoff elections for City Council District 9 (which represents the Southeast Heights and Four Hills area) and District 7, which covers Uptown. This election will take place on December 7th. Preselection venues will open on November 16, but will be closed for Thanksgiving.

Reporter’s note: Districts that report five or fewer votes are not included in the analysis to protect voter privacy. The analysis of voter turnout and socio-economic status is intended as a generalized analysis. The data for individual counties are incomplete because the Secretary of State’s constituencies do not necessarily match the counties of the US Census Bureau. Nevertheless, the correlations shown in the analysis remain true overall.

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