By: Kathy Brook and Eileen VanWie
The nonpartisan League of Women Voters of Southern New Mexico supports procedures for free, fair, safe and accessible elections and encourages all citizens to be actively engaged in understanding the existing processes that support election integrity and in working to strengthen them.
What are the procedures that already provide strength and integrity in our county and state? Online registration saves money, streamlines the process for computer-savvy voters, and contributes to the accuracy of voter lists in allowing voters to check and change their information at nmvote.org. Same-day voter registration happens at voting locations, where voters may also update address changes. Voter rolls are maintained continuously by the Bureau of Elections through checking obituaries, voter registration records, motor vehicle information, returned mail and Social Security records.
Once voting begins sample ballots are also available from nmvote.org, so voters may learn about candidates, bonds, and amendments before voting. Early voting dates and voter convenience centers give voters more access. Machine tabulators are programed and certified so that voters in the county may vote in any of the voting locations. Absentee ballots do not require the voter to have an excuse and these can be tracked and returned by mail or in person. There are secure drop boxes at the voting locations. The use of paper ballots is a very important part of the voting process. Under federal law, any U.S. citizen has the right to cast a provisional ballot, used when there is a question about the voter’s eligibility. These ballots are held for counting until officials determine if the vote should be accepted or not.