October 7, 2020

Voters flock to the polls statewide as early voting begins

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Through one day of early voting and the beginning of absentee voting, over 10,100 New Mexicans have cast ballots statewide.

Of those, just under half are Democrats. 

The numbers released by the Secretary of State’s office showed that 10,109 voters have cast ballots in New Mexico already. Of those, 8,816 cast ballots early in-person and 1,293 returned absentee ballots. In all, 328,913 voters have requested absentee ballots from their county clerks.

While early voting opened in clerks’ offices in each county—or the Clerk’s Annex in Bernalillo County, expanded early voting will begin on Oct. 17, with more locations throughout each county.

This is just a small fraction of the number of voters who will participate this year. The highest turnout for a general election was in 2008, when 833,365 voters cast ballots (519,295 of whom did so early or absentee). Four years ago, 804,073 voters cast ballots.

Some election watchers expect this year to break records, especially following the primary turnout, when over 417,000 voters turned out to vote. In New Mexico, only voters registered to major parties, (Democratic, Libertarian and Republican parties) can vote in primaries. Turnout dwarfed recent primary elections, in both the raw number of votes and percentage of registered voters who cast ballots.

On Tuesday, Doña Ana County had the highest number of voters who cast ballots early, in-person, with 990, while Bernalillo County, the state’s most populous county, had 716 absentee ballots returned, by far the most. 

Democrats cast 4,266 of the 8,816 early in-person ballots, to Republicans’ 3,648. Among returned absentee ballots, Democrats returned 771 of the 1,293 ballots, while Republicans returned 185.

Overall, Democrats have cast 49.83 percent of the total ballots, while Republicans have cast 37.92 percent and Decline to State voters have cast 11.37 percent. Libertarians and members of other parties combined to cast 0.89 percent of ballots.