March 26, 2020

Thousands have requested absentee ballots

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Person filling out ballot, shallow depth of field

Over 5,500 New Mexicans requested absentee ballots as of the afternoon of Wednesday March 25, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

That is after her office opened the state’s absentee ballot portal on March 20. 

The launch of the online portal came a month earlier than normal for the June 2 primary elections.

New Mexico offers “no-excuse” absentee voting, which means any eligible voter can vote by absentee just by requesting a ballot. Some states don’t have any absentee voting, while others only allow voters to request absentee ballots for certain reasons.

The online portal for absentee ballots only began in 2018, so there is not a direct comparison for the numbers this year, in a presidential election year, which has higher turnout than elections without a presidential race on the ballot.

Elections administrators across the country are preparing for an increase in absentee ballots because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver encouraged voters to request absentee ballots.

However in 2016, according to the Secretary of State’s office, 14,052 voters cast ballots in the primary elections.

The total amount of requested absentee ballots this year so far, by county:

  • Bernalillo: 2302
  • Catron: 4
  • Chaves: 25
  • Cibola: 6
  • Colfax: 20
  • Curry: 11
  • Doña Ana: 230
  • Eddy: 44
  • Grant: 70
  • Guadalupe: 1
  • Harding: 1
  • Hidalgo: 1
  • Lea: 14
  • Lincoln: 29
  • Los Alamos: 67
  • Luna: 9
  • McKinley: 25
  • Mora: 5
  • Otero: 93
  • Quay: 4
  • Rio Arriba: 59
  • Roosevelt: 2
  • San Juan: 81
  • San Miguel: 39
  • Sandoval: 403
  • Santa Fe: 1471
  • Sierra: 22
  • Socorro: 16
  • Taos: 321
  • Torrance: 31
  • Union: 2
  • Valencia: 163
  • Total: 5571