Danielle Prokop

Danielle Prokop

Danielle Prokop covers the environment and local government in Southern New Mexico for Source NM. Her coverage has delved into climate crisis on the Rio Grande, water litigation and health impacts from pollution. She is based in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Official 2023 election results are in, but recounts await for close calls in some New Mexico races

By: - November 29, 2023

Officials certified the 2023 local elections in Santa Fe on Tuesday, confirming just over 20% of registered voters in New Mexico elected people to positions such as school board and city council across the state. That amounts to 250,582 voters casting a ballot out of 1,219,760 registered New Mexicans, according to the Secretary of State’s […]

Mora selected for future reforestation center

By: - November 28, 2023

Agencies and universities selected a site in Mora to host a new multimillion-dollar center to replant millions of trees across the state. A board in charge of siting the New Mexico Reforestation Center determined last week that the center will be built at the current John T. Harrington (JTH) Forestry Research Center in the northern […]

Most New Mexico county jails are understaffed; some are overfull

By: - November 27, 2023

Staff vacancy rates are 20% or greater at more than half of New Mexico’s county-run jails, even as some facilities report having more inmates than beds. Katherine Crociata, a lobbyist for the New Mexico Association of Counties, told lawmakers last week that the situation required the legislature’s help to hire more staff. “Our main concern […]

Counties spending $1 in every $3 on detention

By: - November 22, 2023

New Mexico’s county governments are spending increasing amounts on keeping fewer people behind bars in county jails, the New Mexico Association of Counties told lawmakers Monday. The nonprofit lobbies on behalf of all 33 New Mexico counties and also manages insurance for the governmental bodies. General counsel for the group, Grace Philips, began lobbying lawmakers […]

Candidates in just five school districts required to file campaign finance reports

By: - November 21, 2023

It’s still hard to say how much money shaped the outcome of New Mexico school board races. The public won’t have a full picture about campaign spending in the five largest school districts until Dec. 7, when reports detailing donations and spending from mid-October until Election Day are due. Only candidates running for seats in […]

New Mexico turnout up in 2023 local election

By: - November 17, 2023

Just over 20% of registered New Mexico voters turned out for the 2023 local elections, about 5,000 more people than participated in the 2021 local elections. County clerks say in general though, voter turnout for local elections has increased. They cited a law passed in 2019 to consolidate school board and municipal elections into a […]

Millions in legal settlements now disclosed by the state

By: - November 16, 2023

In 2023, New Mexico paid a $3.6 million settlement to people representing the two surviving siblings of Ariza Barreras, an 11-month-old who died in the care of a state foster parent in January 2018. A wrongful death civil lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court alleged that employees for the state’s Children, Youth and Families Department […]

Virgin Galactic lays off 185 employees; will pause flights from Spaceport in 2024

By: - November 10, 2023

Virgin Galactic announced 185 employee layoffs and that the company will “take a pause” for near-space tourism flights from Spaceport America in 2024. In an announcement on Wednesday, just under 40% of the layoffs will be people working in New Mexico, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) letter sent to the New […]

4,582 New Mexicans use same-day voter registration during 2023 election

By: - November 9, 2023

Just under 2% of New Mexicans participating in the 2023 local elections used same-day voter registration. Unofficial results from the New Mexico Secretary of State’s office showed that 250,657 people cast a ballot, and a total of 4,582 of those either registered or updated their address at the polls. About 65% of voters used same-day […]

Most incumbents keep their seats in major school board races across the state

By: and - November 8, 2023

Voters across the state said school boards were a draw for this year’s local election. Eric Ahner, 54, left his work as the executive director at J. Paul Taylor Academy in Las Cruces a little early to make it to the polls just before 4 p.m. “Local elections are particularly important, it’s where we can […]

A sign that says "your vote center" at the main gym

We’re in the dark on most school board race finances, that may change next year.  

By: - November 7, 2023

Even as some candidates in the largest school district races raise tens of thousands of dollars, for most of New Mexico’s school board races, there’s no requirement to disclose campaign spending or donors. Only candidates running for school board seats in districts with 12,000 students or more are required to file any campaign finance reports. […]

What to know about same-day voter registration in New Mexico

By: - November 6, 2023

Local elections are set from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7 across New Mexico. Races on the ballots include school boards, water and soil districts, local ordinances and county and municipal government positions. Same-day registration is limited to casting a ballot in-person and cannot be used for voting by mail. Doña Ana […]