September 12, 2018

NM Elections Roundup: Straight-ticket voting, campaign finance reports and more…

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Every week from now until the Nov. 6 election, we’ll recap the big election stories each week.

The full version of this recap comes out every Tuesday morning—if you aren’t signed up yet, you can do so here.

On to the recap!

  • Straight-ticket party voting is a major campaign issue, since Democratic Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver announced late last month that she would put the option back on ballots for 2018. Former SOS Dianna Duran removed it ahead of the 2012 elections (Duran is a Republican).
    A lawsuit in the state Supreme Court says this runs counter to state law. Republicans, Libertarians and even a Democrat signed onto the suit against Toulouse Oliver. But the office of Attorney General Hector Balderas, a Democrat, backed Toulouse Oliver in a court filing last week the Albuquerque Journal reported.
    The high court will hear oral arguments from both sides today.
  • At least seven county commissions announced they would oppose straight-ticket voting, but their hands could be tied. Daniel Ivey-Soto, the executive director of the Clerks Affiliate of the New Mexico Association of Counties, issued a guidance to clerks that whatever the New Mexico Supreme Court decides would apply to each county because of language in state law. The language gives the Secretary of State the authority to approve certain parts of the ballot and clerks, who administer elections in their counties, others.
    Ivey-Soto is also a Democratic member of the state Senate.
  • The issue of straight-ticket voting inspired Libertarian Ginger Grider to run for Secretary of State, NM Political Report reported last week. Grider is opposed to straight-ticket voting.
  • Campaign finance reports came out Monday. And Republican Steve Pearce has more cash on hand than Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham, but Lujan Grisham spent more and raised more in recent months. See our report here, including the cash-on-hand of every statewide candidate who filed a report.
  • Libertarian U.S. Senate nominee Gary Johnson received the endorsement of Rand Paul, the libertarian-leaning Republican U.S. Senator from Kentucky. Mick Rich, the Republican nominee said he wasn’t surprised.
    “When I met with Rand Paul, he asked me only two questions: did I support legalized marijuana, and did I support shutting down the government during federal budget negotiations,” Rich said in a statement. “My response to both was no. So Sen. Paul found a candidate who agrees that legalized marijuana is good and that shutting down the government is a good strategy.”
  • For the full version of the Elections Roundup, including controversial comments by a congressional candidate and what happened to the original date of a DWI trial for a state legislator, sign up for the full version.