October 20, 2020

Turnout passes 322,000, 40 percent of 2016’s total turnout

New Mexico voters continued to head to the polls and return absentee ballots early, as 322,880 voters had already cast their ballots as of Tuesday morning: 154,578 through early in-person voting and 71,939 through returning absentee ballots.

The number of returned absentee ballots is now the second-most in state history, only behind the 172,136 absentee ballots returned in 2008, and is poised to break that year’s record total by tomorrow morning.

As of Tuesday morning, 44.77 percent of all voters who requested absentee ballots have returned them.

Today is the final day for voters to request absentee ballots. 

For their absentee ballots to count, voters must return them by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3. The Secretary of State’s has advised anyone who plans to mail back absentee ballots to do so by Oct. 27 to make sure they arrive in time. Absentee ballots can also be dropped off in-person at polling locations, including early voting locations.

Early voting itself remains ahead of the pace set in 2016, which itself had a record number of early votes. That year, 140,304 voters had cast ballots on the results released on the third day of early voting, compared to the 154,578 so far this year.

The overall turnout so far is now 40.15 percent of the overall turnout in 2016 and 38.74 percent of the overall turnout in 2008, which featured New Mexico’s highest turnout in history. Tuesday marked two weeks until Election Day.

As of the results Tuesday morning, Democrats still had cast over half of all overall ballots.

PartyEarly In-PersonAbsenteeTotalPercent of Total
Democratic62,988109,134172,12253.31%
Republican72,75322,89040,09433.20%
Decline to State17,20434,456107,20912.42%
Libertarian8748831,6420.56%
Other7599391,8130.51%
Total154,578168,302322,880n/a
2020 New Mexico turnout numbers released on the morning of Oct. 20

Republicans continued to have the highest number of early in-person votes, or 47.07 percent of all early in-person voters.

But Democrats maintained their large advantage among absentee ballots, with 64.84 percent of all returned absentee ballots. Democrats have also requested 61.7 percent of all absentee ballots so far.

So far, 104,313 voters in Bernalillo County have cast their ballots, nearly three times as many as any other county and had both the most early in-person (32,374) and returned absentee (71,939) ballots. Bernalillo County has the highest amount of population in the state.

Sandoval County had the next most votes, with 31,936.

Early in-person votes, five other counties had turnout of 10,000 or more voters: Sandoval (14,887); Doña Ana (12,247); San Juan (11,141); Eddy (10,464); and Santa Fe (10,009).

And three other counties had over 10,000 returned absentee ballots: Sandoval (17,049); Santa Fe (16,684); and Doña Ana (15,436).

Absentee voting has outstripped the same kind of voting in all of 2016 in 26 of the state’s 33 counties, while Roosevelt County remains the lone county to already exceed that year’s early in-person turnout; 2016 was the record year for early in-person voting.

Ten counties have more absentee votes than in all of 2008 (Doña Ana, Otero, San Miguel, Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Luna, Quay, RIo Arriba, Sandoval and Roosevelt), while three counties have already had more early in-person voting than in all of that year (Eddy, Union and De Baca).

Eddy County, meanwhile, has already cast 63.1 percent of the total number of votes that the same county cast in 2016. The only other county with more than 55 percent is Chaves County, at 55.69 percent of 2016’s total. Both are key Republican counties in the state’s heavily contested 2nd Congressional District.

Correction: The table on this post transposed the absentee and total votes for Decline to State and “other” voters. This has been corrected.