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New Mexico election threats

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a non-partisan, non-profit collaboration of citizens, activists and researchers to collect reports of voter suppression and the systemic threats to election integrity.

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Voter registration

This section details threats to voters from and problems with the state's voter registration system.


Verification, database and rejection

  • A Common Cause examination of voting preparedness rated New Mexico's voter registration rejection system as "unsatisfactory," citing, "Registration form must include: name, gender, residence, municipality, post office, county of former registration, social security, date of birth, political party affiliation, zip code, telephone number, signature."[1]
  • A Common Cause examination of voting preparedness rated New Mexico's voter registration verification system as "unsatisfactory," citing, "Full SSN, driver’s license, or state identifi cation number and date of birth required. State has not defined the matching criteria, nor the procedure when a match fails."[1]

Notification and appeal

3rd party registration

  • A Common Cause examination of voting preparedness rated New Mexico's voter registration 3rd-party registration system as "unsatisfactory," citing, "Registration groups must register with the secretary of state, providing the names of the officers and the address of the organization; the names of any persons registering people to vote; a sworn statement from each person registering voters that he/she will obey all state laws and rules on a form describing penalties for false registration. Collected registration forms must be submitted to the state or county clerk within 48 hours of their having been completed. Violation of third-party laws is a petty misdemeanor and results in revocation of the “registration agent’s” third-party status and/or fines. The Secretary of State must report violations of the law to the Attorney General or District Attorney."[1]

NVRA implementation

  • A Common Cause examination of voting preparedness rated New Mexico's NVRA implementation as "unsatisfactory," citing, "State law calls for implementation of Motor-Voter and §7 provisions. Demos, ACORN, and Project Vote have filed a letter of complaint with the Secretary of State for failing to comply with §7 provisions, however."[1]

Student voting rights

Voter education

This section details past and potential election threats caused by the state's laws, regulations and practices on voter education, how to vote, information on elections, etc.


  • A Common Cause examination of voting preparedness rated New Mexico's sample ballot system as "unsatisfactory," citing, "Not currently available on Secretary of State Website, but the Secretary’s office is working on this." "Does not send sample ballots to voters. Sample ballots are published in county newspapers around the state. By Law sample ballots must be printed in both English and Spanish and be available in “reasonable quantities to all interested persons for distribution with the appropriate precincts.” Two sample ballots must be displayed on the outside of the polling place for public inspection and two must be displayed inside for public inspections."[1]
  • A Common Cause examination of voting preparedness rated New Mexico's voter education for voting machines as "unsatisfactory," citing, "No information about education efforts off-line."[1]

Absentee and early voting

This section details problems with and threats to the state's absentee and early voting system.


  • College students and possibly thousands others from Doña Ana County never received their absentee ballots and could not vote in the election. "The problem is at least in part attributable to the fact that the county didn’t comply with a law requiring that absentee ballots be mailed out within 24 hours of the office receiving requests for the ballots."[2][3]

Voter suppression and intimidation

This section details problems and threats involving fraud, intimidation and suppression efforts.


Deceptive practices laws

  • A Common Cause examination of voting preparedness rated New Mexico's deceptive practices law as "unsatisfactory," citing, "It is a felony to coerce a voter to vote or not vote for a candidate or anything else on the ballot. No law specifically addresses deceptive practices."[1]

Voter caging, purges and other eligibility challenges

  • Nov 3, 2008: The Republican National Committee has been accused of recruiting private investigators for election day work in New Mexico, in violation of a 1982 New Jersey consent decree banning "ballot security" activities. [4] In October, local Republican attorney Pat Rogers admitted the party had hired private detectives to visit the homes of targeted voters in order to question their eligibility.[5]
Main article: Vote caging

Newsnight investigative reporter Greg Palast travels from the Native pueblos of New Mexico to the war-zone of the 8 Mile neighborhood of Detroit to meet some of the three million voters who have been disappeared by a GOP campaign draining voter rolls of the poor, the dark-skinned, the defenseless.

Main article: Voter roll purges

Voter intimidation and deception

  • November 4, 2008. Obama supporters report receiving text messages advising they should vote Wednesday to avoid lines.[6] Similar deceptive text messages were reported reported in several states.
  • In early October, 2008, the state GOP announced it had discovered 28 "fraudulent" voters in a June primary. [7] After most of the voters (who were primarily Hispanic) were subsequently found to be legitimate registrations, prominent local attorney and GOP advisor Pat Rogers hired a private detective to confront several of the voters at their homes. [8] Rogers does not deny hiring the detective, but says that no intimidation was intended and no laws were broken.[9] Lawsuits [10] [11] and an investigation are pending.

Polling places and voting

This section details past and potential election threats caused by the state's laws, regulations and practices on election practices, polling places, workers, providing election equipment, etc.


Poll worker training, recruitment and distribution

  • A Common Cause examination of voting preparedness rated New Mexico's poll worker recruitment as "mixed," citing, "Depending on the type of voting machines used, state law requires 4 to 6 poll workers per precinct. High school students are not permitted to serve as poll workers"[1]

Voter ID requirements

Polling place accessibility and wait times

  • FairVote reports that New Mexico voters could see problems on Election Day 2008, including long lines, because there is no standardized method for allocating poll booths.[12]

Voting machine and ballot distribution

  • A Common Cause examination of voting preparedness rated New Mexico's voting machine distribution as "Inconclusive," citing, "Each precinct gets one “voting system” for every 600 registered voters; precincts with fewer than 600 registered voters are still allocated one “voting system.”"[1]

Malfunctioning voting machinery

  • For an extensive log of voting machine problems, see the VotersUnite! report on election incidents.[13]

Ballot design

Provisional ballots

This section lists past and potential election threats caused by the state's laws, regulations and practices on provisional ballots. Particularly, what are the state's criteria for receiving a provisional ballot (including voting in the wrong precinct) and its procedures for verifying eligibility and then including those votes in the totals.


Criteria

Eligibility verification

Ballots cast in wrong precinct

Vote verification and security

This section details past and potential election threats caused by the state's laws, regulations and practices on vote verification and security.


Voting machine verification and security

Vote tabulation procedures

Recount procedures

Chain of custody of ballots and e-voting equipment

Election public official issues

Premature media race calling

Vote result challenge procedures

Articles and resources

See also


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Common Cause chart of election issues in New Mexico, part of the "Voting in 2008: 10 Swing States," a Common Cause report released September 16, 2008. The areas looked at include: voter registration, voter identification, caging and challenges, deceptive practices, provisional ballots, voting machine allocation, poll worker recruitment and training, voter education and student voting rights.
  2. "N.M. college student disenfranchised," New Mexico Independent, November 4, 2008.
  3. "Absentee ballot snafu: How many won’t vote?," New Mexico Independent, November 4, 2008.
  4. Obama campaign and RNC tangle in court over call to PI in NM, New Mexico Independent, November 4, 2008
  5. "GOP lawyer refuses to deny private eye visits," New Mexico Independent, October 23, 2008.
  6. [http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/11/bogus-robo-text.html "Bogus Robo-Texts Tell Obama Supporters They Can Vote Wednesday," Wired, November 4, 2008.
  7. Associated Press [1], October 16, 2008
  8. Associated Press, [2], October 18, 2008.
  9. Heather Clark [3], Associated Press, October 29, 2008.
  10. http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/docs/ACLU-complaint
  11. http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/docs/maldef-suit/
  12. Kate Nash, Vote 2008: "Polling booth numbers could be cause for concern," FairVote, Sept. 8, 2008.
  13. This past problem and description are from the VotersUnite! Election Problem Log. Click through for included links to origin of report.

External resources

Poll location

Election Protection hotlines

Voting information

Voting rights

Voting requirements

Election officials, election reform groups, and elected officials

Absentee voting

Disabled voters

Student voting rights

State ballot

  • See how organizations you trust recommend you vote on ballot measures and other statewide contests at TransparentDemocracy.

Languages

  • Help in other languages from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. 中文, 日本語, 한국어, Tagalog, Tiếng Việt, Español

Voting machines


External articles