Know your rights as a voter in New Mexico before you head to the polls

By: - November 8, 2022 4:00 am

A polling location in Grants, N.M. (Photo by Shaun Griswold / Source NM)

Election Day is here, New Mexicans last chance to have their say in the 2022 midterm election that will decide several important state, congressional and local races.

Polling locations across the state have procedures in place to assure that ballots are cast in compliance with federal laws. The Justice Department has even announced plans to monitor polls in Bernalillo and San Juan counties to ensure no voter’s rights are infringed. But what are your rights as a voter?

DOJ deploys personnel to New Mexico to monitor voting rights on Election Day

Under federal and state laws, registered voters in New Mexico have the right to vote privately, free from discrimination and intimidation, and without presenting a photo identification — unless the voter is registering for the first time or has registered to vote by mail for the first time without providing ID.

New Mexico law ensures that voters must be treated with respect by election officials, receive instructions on how to operate voting equipment or how to mark a paper ballot, and receive a replacement paper ballot if yours is spoiled or defective.

You’re also allowed to be assisted by a person of your choice. But you cannot receive assistance from your employer or an agent of your employer, an officer or agent of your union, or a candidate on the ballot for this election.

State law also allows you to inspect a sample ballot before voting. Sample ballots are available online from the Secretary of State. Visit for a link to a customized sample ballot, more information on your rights as a voter and to locate a polling location near you.

If you arrive at a polling location and your name is not on the list of eligible voters, or you’re required to provide identification and did not bring it to the polls, state law allows you to cast a provisional ballot. The status of a provisional ballot can be checked online after the election has ended.

Polls across New Mexico are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8. If you are in line when the polls close, stay in line because state law ensures that you are allowed to cast a ballot as long as you are in line at closing time.

Voting more than once, bribery, coercion, intimidation and obstructing or disturbing the polling place are crimes and anyone who commits these offenses can face criminal prosecution.

If you witness any of these things while at a polling location, you can call local law enforcement, or report crimes or concerns to the Secretary of State by calling 1-800-477-3632.

You can also report possible violations of federal law to the Justice Department by visiting or by calling 1-800-253-3931.


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Ryan Lowery
Ryan Lowery

Ryan Lowery is an award-winning independent journalist based in Albuquerque. He covers politics and criminal justice and has reported on New Mexico for the Las Vegas Optic, Santa Fe Reporter, Los Angeles Times and others. Lowery was awarded the 2020 William S. Dixon First Amendment Freedom Award from the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, and the 2021 Sunshine Award from the New Mexico Press Association for his reporting that highlighted lack of transparency from multiple government agencies.