October 16, 2020

Over 183,000 New Mexicans have cast their ballots

Over 183,000 New Mexicans have cast ballots as of Friday morning, according to numbers provided by the Secretary of State’s office.

This includes over 100,000 absentee ballots that have been returned to county clerks’ office.

In all, 183,271 voters have either returned their absentee ballots or voted early in-person so far throughout the state.

The number of absentee ballots returned to county clerks’ offices reached 102,004, and already exceeds the number of absentee ballots cast in the last two presidential elections (76,476 in 2016 and 88,848 in 2012). The record number of absentee ballots in a single election in New Mexico was set in 2008, with 172,136, a number set to be shattered this year.

Early voting is still in its limited form, with just one early voting location in each county. This will expand to areas throughout each county on Saturday, when the number of early votes typically shows large increases.

There is a large partisan split in who have voted in-person and those who cast ballots via absentee ballots.

Nearly half, 49.57 percent, of early in-person ballots have been cast by Republicans, compared to just 39.48 percent of Democrats. But there is an even wider split among absentee ballots. Nearly two-thirds, or 65.67 percent, of absentee ballots have come from Democrats, compared to 20.09 percent of Republicans.

This leads to the Democrats’ large advantage in overall votes through Friday morning:

PartyEarly In-PersonAbsenteeTotalPercent of total
Democrats32,08466,98999,07354.06%
Republicans40,28220,49460,77633.16%
Decline to State8,12113,46421,58511.78%
Libertarian4025439450.52%
Other3785148920.49%
Total81,267102,004183,271n/a
Numbers from the Secretary of State’s office as of the morning of 10/16/20

So far, 365,948 voters have requested ballots and 27.87 percent of those have returned the absentee ballots. In 2016, over 97 percent of those who requested absentee ballots returned their absentee ballots.

Voters can request absentee ballots until Oct. 20. All absentee ballots in New Mexico must be received by the close of polls on election day, which is 7 p.m. on Nov. 3. The Secretary of State’s office encourages any who wish to mail back absentee ballots to do so by Oct. 27 to make sure they arrive in time.

Bernalillo County voters represent over 45 percent of those who have returned absentee ballots (46,061), and voters in the state’s most popular county have cast by far the most votes, with 51,483 when adding the 5,422 early in-person votes.

Over 10,000 voters in two other counties have returned absentee ballots, Sandoval (10,646) and Santa Fe (10,326). These three and 15 other counties have already exceeded the total number of returned absentee ballots from 2016.

The top three counties for early in-person votes are all from southern New Mexico, led by Eddy County (8,353), followed by Doña Ana County (7,687) and Chaves County (6,986).

Roosevelt County is the only county with more early in-person votes so far than in 2016, though more voters in both Roosevelt and Eddy counties have cast early in-person votes in 2020 so far than did in all of early voting in 2012.

Counties that send more than 10,000 absentee ballots to voters can begin processing absentee ballots fourteen days before Election Day, though the ballots themselves cannot be counted until Election Day. Counties that send fewer than 10,000 ballots can begin processing absentee ballots four days before Election Day.

A total of 1,236 voters have registered to vote since Oct. 6 using the state’s same-day voter registration option, which runs until the end of early voting on Oct. 31. Oct. 6 was the deadline for those seeking to register online or with a paper form, but voters can still register to vote in-person.

Correction: This story originally said the numbers were provided from Thursday morning. They are from Friday morning.