According to the latest numbers released by the Secretary of State’s office, 71,056 voters have cast ballots as of around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
Of these, 46,169 have cast their ballots at early, in-person locations while 24,887 have returned their absentee ballots.
The returned absentee ballots represent 7.03 percent of the 354,098 voters who have requested absentee ballots this year.
Bernalillo County has the most votes cast so far, thanks to a large number of returned absentee ballots; 17,109 voters in the county have returned absentee ballots, while 3,255 have voted in person. The 20,364 votes cast so far represent 28.66 percent of all votes cast so far.
Two other counties have reported 1,000 or more returned absentee ballots so far: Sandoval County with 1,644 and Santa Fe County with 1,031.
Early voting is heaviest in southern and eastern counties. Eddy County, a heavy Republican stronghold, reported 5,241 early in-person votes already, the most in the state. Chaves County, another heavily Republican county, followed with 4,459 early, in-person votes. The third-most came out of Doña Ana County, the most populous county in southern New Mexico, with 4,018 in-person votes.
Overall, Democrats have cast 50.33 percent of all ballots in the state, while Republicans have cast 38.09 percent, decline to state votes have cast 10.66 percent and the Libertarian and minor parties have combined to cast 0.92 percent of ballots.
The method of voting has differed sharply on partisan lines. Of the 27,064 Republicans who have cast ballots, 82.8 percent (or 22,410) have done so via early-in person voting. Meanwhile of the 35,760 Democrats who have cast ballots, 46.96 percent (or 16,792) have done so through returning absentee ballots.
This split will likely grow as more voters cast ballots. Of the 354,098 voters who requested absentee ballots, 62.09 percent (or 219,851) were Democrats.
Voters can request absentee ballots until Oct. 20. The state encourages voters to return absentee ballots as soon as possible to allow election officials to begin processing ballots before Election Day, and advises that the last possible date to send absentee votes by mail is Oct. 27, as only absentee ballots received by the close of polls on Nov. 3 will be valid. Voters can also drop off absentee ballots at the county clerks’ office or any voting location.
Early-in person voting is currently available at county clerks’ offices, and early in-person voting will expand on Oct. 17 to more locations throughout each county.
NM Political Report doesn’t have daily data for 2016’s turnout until the expansion of early in-person voting, which landed on Oct. 22 that year. That year, 84,432 voters cast ballots by early in-person or absentee ballot before the expansion of early in-person voting. So far in 2020, 84.16 percent of that total have already cast ballots in New Mexico, with the expansion of early in-person voting locations still five days away.
In 2016, 804,073 voters cast ballots in the election either early in-person, absentee or on Election Day, while a total of 786,522 voters cast ballots in 2012 and a still-record 833,365 voters cast ballots in 2008.