October 24, 2016

Early voting heavy, especially in some key counties



Coming into this week, nearly 70,000 New Mexico voters have cast their votes early, the majority of whom have been Democrats.

These numbers from the Secretary of State’s office come as of the end of voting on Saturday, so they do not include any votes cast on Monday so far.

Of the 68,945 voters who cast early-in person ballots, 39,702 (57.5 percent) are Democrats, 20,868 (30.3 percent) are Republicans and 12.1 percent are not part of either major party.

Another 15,487 voters returned absentee ballots by the end of Saturday.

Counties with competitive races see big turnout

The three counties with the bulk of competitive legislative races have seen thousands cast ballots as part of early voting so far, and have more recent numbers than the statewide numbers.

So far, Dona Ana County is exceeding the other two large counties in terms of turnout.

Just under ten percent of registered voters in Dona Ana County cast ballots early in person, with just over two weeks left until the election.

These numbers come after early voting expanded on Saturdays, giving voters an easier option of places to vote. From Oct. 11 until Saturday, early in-person voting in each county was only in one location in the county clerk’s office.

According to the latest numbers from the Dona Ana County clerk’s office, 10,917 voters cast early ballots in the county. Of those, 6,099 (55.9 percent) are Democrats, 3,225 (29.5 percent) are Republicans and 1,593 (14.6 percent) are either members of no party or of a minor political party. The vote totals were as of around 10:30 a.m. on Monday.

As of Sept. 30, Dona Ana County had 110,427 registered voters, meaning just under 9.9 percent of eligible voters as of that date in the county have cast ballots early in person. The final number of eligible voters is not yet available on the Secretary of State’s website.

In 2012, 47 percent of those who cast ballots in the race voted early. Another 5.3 percent cast ballots by absentee.

Dona Ana County is the home to some legislative races many believe could help determine if Republicans or Democrats control each of the chambers in the Roundhouse next January.

Bernalillo County saw a big jump in early voting with the expansion of early voting. A total of 24,021 voters cast ballots as of 10:45 Monday morning.

Of those, 14,999 (62.4 percent) are Democrats, 6,009 (25 percent) are Republicans and 3,013 (12.5 percent) are members of neither major party.

So far, 3.4 percent of registered voters in Bernalillo County cast ballots early and in person.

Bernalillo County is by far the county with the most residents in the state. More than a third of registered voters live in the county.

In 2012, 54.8 percent of those who voted in the general election cast their ballots early, in-person and another 13.7 percent cast ballots absentee.

The Sandoval County clerk’s office reported that 8,752 voters cast ballots as of noon on Monday, though did not provide breakdowns by party.

Those nearly 9,000 voters would represent 9.4 percent of the county’s 92,951 registered voters, again as of Sept. 30.

In 2012, 55.1 percent of voters in Sandoval County cast their ballots in early voting. Another 13.4 percent cast their ballots absentee.

Note: Percentages may not round to 100 percent because of rounding.