Briefs

No same-day registration and voting on Election Day in NM this year

By: - October 11, 2021 6:38 am

(Photo by Ralph Freso / Getty Images)

Same-day voter registration won’t be available on Nov. 2, Election Day proper. Early voting has begun and voters can register at the same time they show up to vote early until Oct. 30, but same-day voter registration will not be an option on Election Day, KUNM reports.

The Secretary of State’s Office is not asking New Mexico’s Voter System Certification Committee to allow for same-day registration for next month’s regular local election, Elections Director Mandy Vigil said.

Same-day registration was expected this year because lawmakers in 2018 revamped the state’s election code in an effort to increase voter participation.

Same-day voter registration measures are meant to address a long history of attacks on voting rights in the U.S. and make it easier for low-income folks and working people of color to vote. 

Even in states where people’s voting rights are restored automatically upon release from prison, formerly incarcerated people still need re-register to vote, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures. The Prison Policy Initiative points to same-day voter registration as one of many solutions to make sure eligible voters are able to cast their ballots and reduce systemic inequities. People of color are incarcerated disproportionately because of racism within criminal legal systems nationwide, according to PPI.  Nearly half of the people behind the walls are Black or Latino, according to The Sentencing Project.

In New Mexico, people convicted of felonies can register to vote again if they are unconditionally discharged from prison, complete all of their parole or probation conditions or get their conviction overturned on an appeal.

New Mexico lawmakers tried to end felony disenfranchisement and make it so people convicted of felonies would not lose their voting rights and then have to re-register. House Bill 57 made its way through the Legislature two years ago, but the bill was watered down in committee and died before seeing a full vote in either chamber.

RESOURCES

To find your nearest polling location that does offer same-day registration during the early voting period, enter your address or ZIP code here.

Know your rights as a New Mexico voter. 

To report voter intimidation, fill out this form or call (505) 827-3600 or Toll Free 1 (800) 477-3632.

 

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Austin Fisher
Austin Fisher

Austin Fisher is a journalist based in Santa Fe. He has worked for newspapers in New Mexico and his home state of Kansas, including the Topeka Capital-Journal, the Garden City Telegram, the Rio Grande SUN and the Santa Fe Reporter. Since starting a full-time career in reporting in 2015, he’s aimed to use journalism to lift up voices that typically go unheard in public debates around economic inequality, policing and environmental racism.

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