October 29, 2020

Turnout in NM passes 660,000, 82 percent of 2016’s total turnout

County clerks reported nearly 39,000 more votes on Thursday morning than in the Wednesday morning report, bringing the state’s turnout with five days until Election Day to 660,763.

The numbers, provided by the Secretary of State’s office, showed that early in-person voting fell slightly behind the pace of early voting in 2016, which had the most early in-person votes of any election in state history. But absentee voting continued its steady increase, extending the record number of absentee ballots received by county clerks.

As of Thursday morning, 292,066 voters had returned absentee ballots out of 384,162 ballot requests, a 76.03 percent return rate. 

A total of 368,697 voters had cast their votes through early in-person voting as of Thursday morning.

The turnout reached 82.18 percent of 2016’s total turnout, which included all early in-person votes, absentee ballots and Election Day voting, and 79.29 percent of the 2008 turnout. The 2008 election remains New Mexico’s highest turnout election.

Early voting runs through Saturday, Oct. 31. 

Election officials advise any New Mexicans who have not yet returned their absentee ballots to do so in person, as any absentee ballots sent in the mail may not arrive by Election Day. Any absentee ballot that does not arrive by 7 p.m. on Election Day will not be valid.

Voters can return absentee ballots to their county clerks’ office or any polling location, including early voting locations and Election Day voting locations.

Democrats had cast 49.75 percent of all ballots as of Thursday morning, while Republicans had cast 34.68 percent and Decline to State voters had cast 14.26 percent.

PartyEarly In-PersonAbsenteeTotalPercent of Total
Democratic147,882180,878328,76049.75%
Republican166,03363,101229,13434.68%
Decline to State49,81944,41294,23114.26%
Libertarian2,7181,8844,6020.70%
Other2,2451,7914,0360.61%
Total368,697292,066660,763n/a

Democrats continued their large advantage on all returned absentee ballots, with 61.93 percent of all those cast so far. Republicans had returned 21.06 percent of all absentee ballots.

There were still many unreturned absentee ballots, over 92,000. Democrats had a return rate of 76.47 percent of requested ballots, while Republicans had a return rate of 75.98 percent, and Decline to State/minor party (or other) voters had a return rate of 74.68 percent.

Republicans had cast 18,151 more early in-person ballots than Democrats, and make up 45.03 percent of all early in-person votes. Democrats had cast 40.11 percent of all early in-person votes.

As of Thursday morning, 242,658 of those in Bernalillo County had already voted, 115,380 by early in-person votes and 127,278 by returning absentee ballots. This was by far the highest raw turnout and was 36.72 percent of all votes cast in the state.

The next-highest turnout was 62,127 voters in Santa Fe County, with 9.4 percent of all votes.

Five counties had already reached 85 percent of 2016’s total turnout, led by Sandoval County at 91.55 percent. The others were Bernalillo County (87.72 percent), Eddy County (87.48 percent), Santa Fe County (86.38 percent) and Grant County (85.87 percent).

Every county had reached at least 50 percent of 2016’s turnout, with Mora County at the lowest number, 50.86 percent, though even Mora County had exceeded 2016’s pace of votes and over half of voters in the county voted on Election Day that year.

Only two counties have had fewer absentee votes than 2016 as of Thursday morning (Roosevelt by 8871 votes and Harding by two votes), and 17 counties had already exceeded 2016’s total early in-person vote count, while two had the exact same total.