Briefs

Secretary of State’s Office combats unbased fears of election fraud as more early voting locations open this weekend

By: - October 19, 2022 4:30 am

A polling location on Albuquerque’s Westside in 2022 (Photo by Gino Gutierrez for Source NM)

Expanded early voting starts on Saturday, Oct. 22, which means more polling locations will open up in New Mexico counties. There are about two and a half weeks left of early voting.

Voting info

Additional information on voting, registration and elections can be found at nmvote.org.

Voters can cast their ballots at their county offices or the new additional voting locations, a list of which can be found here.

Early voting goes through Saturday, Nov. 5 with varying hours at each site. People can call their county offices to check on polling locations and hours. Polls will open again on General Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 8 from 7 a.m. to 7 pm.

Not all counties may open additional sites, Secretary of State spokesperson Alex Curtas said. “This is at the discretion of the counties, if they have staff and if they have the need for it,” he said.

Casting a ballot by mail

New Mexicans can also vote with an absentee ballot, and the last day to request one is Thursday, Nov. 3. It can be submitted by mail, ballot drop box or in-person at a county clerk’s office or polling location in your county.

Election safeguards

There are measures in place to maintain voting integrity, Curtas said, despite unfounded fears from some about fake election results.

For mail-in ballots, there are protections in place like matching signatures, Social Security information and online absentee ballot tracking, he said.

Anyone trying to vote with a ballot that’s not their own will be prosecuted, he added.

“Voter impersonation like that, it’s a high-risk, low-reward thing because you really can’t change the outcome of an election, and you’re going to be convicted of a felony,” Curtas said. 

People can register to vote at any polling location in their own county and vote on the same day. 

Some people had unbased fears about voter fraud through same-day registration in the primaries over the summer, but Curtas said there’s no evidence that same-day registration has been abused or led to illegal election interference. The voting systems are all connected, so nobody can vote more than once, he said.

“As soon as you vote, it’s in our system,” Curtas said.

Curtas encouraged people to work the polls, which he said helps combat misinformation. Designated individuals can serve as election challengers or watchers during early voting and on Election Day.

“The best way to kind of learn about voting is to go work the polls, because you will then see all the processes that are in place, all the safeguards that are in place, that kind of thing,” Curtas said. “That, I think, will dissuade a lot of people from their misinformed views about the lack of security in our elections.”

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Megan Gleason
Megan Gleason

Megan Gleason is a journalist based in Albuquerque. She recently graduated from the University of New Mexico, where she served as the editor-in-chief of the Daily Lobo. Other work has appeared under the New Mexico Press Association as well as in the Independent, Gallup Sun and Silver City Daily Press.

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