October 27, 2016

New Mexico’s election system is safe



With all the national publicity about the possibility of attacks on the election systems, it is necessary to let New Mexicans know that our election system is secure.

Through bipartisan efforts over the last ten years, New Mexico’s election system has become one that is envied by most other states.

Meredith Machen is the president of the League of Women Voters of New Mexico.

Viki Harrison is the executive director of Common Cause New Mexico.

As to the vote counting system, New Mexico has voting machines that electronically tabulate paper ballots that are fed into the machines at the voting sites.

The voting machines are not connected to the Internet, but should anything go wrong as indicated by the post-election audits that are conducted, we would have the paper ballots as backup.

That means we could recreate the entire election.

Some worry that the voter registration rolls could be tampered with, and names of eligible voters could be removed. Two reasons not to be concerned about this in New Mexico: our voter registration rolls are backed up on a regular basis, and we have provisional ballots; that means that anyone who shows up at the polls can vote “provisionally” even if some entity has erased them from the voter registration rolls.

Those provisional ballots then could be checked against the backed up voter registration rolls and if valid those votes would be counted.

So New Mexicans go out and vote secure in the knowledge that if you are eligible to vote and registered, your vote will be counted. New Mexico’s election officials should be congratulated for ensuring that New Mexico’s election system is secure.