October 31, 2020

Turnout continues on record pace, as nearly 740,000 New Mexicans voted as of Saturday morning

On the final morning of early voting, turnout remained high throughout New Mexico, with 739,359 ballots already cast. This was already by far the most ballots cast before election day, between early in-person and absentee ballots, and promises to only increase on what has traditionally been one of the heaviest days of early in-person voting.

As of Saturday morning, early in-person voting was already the second-highest in state history, with 429,625 voters choosing to cast their ballots in person ahead of Election Day. Only 2016, when 456,762 voters cast their ballots early in-person, had more. It is very possible, if not likely, that New Mexico will have the highest early in-person turnout in election history this year.

New Mexico already broke its own record for most returned absentee ballots, which stood at 309,734 as of Saturday morning—well above the 172,136 record set in 2008. County clerks had received 385,612 absentee ballot requests as of Saturday morning, which means 80.32 percent of all those who requested absentee ballots had returned them.

With the large early and absentee voting totals, New Mexico was already at 91.95 percent of the 2016 total turnout (which included all early in-person, absentee and Election Day votes counted) and at 88.72 percent of 2008’s total turnout, which remains the record turnout for the state.

Voters who have not yet returned their absentee ballots should no longer put them in the mail, and should instead return the ballots in person, according to election officials. Any ballot sent in the mail may not arrive in time. Any absentee ballot that does not arrive by 7 p.m. on Election Day will not be valid in New Mexico.

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

Early in-person voting ends  at 7 p.m. on Saturday, while Election Day voting will run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

As of Saturday morning, Democratic voters had cast 49.05 percent of all ballots, compared to 34.76 percent for Republicans and 14.81 percent for Decline to State (or those with no party affiliation) voters.

PartyEarly In-PersonAbsenteeTotalPercent of Total
Democratic172,119190,510362,62949.05%
Republican189,69167,320257,01134.76%
Decline to State61,61947,904109,52314.81%
Libertarian3,3822,0715,4530.74%
Other2,8141,9294,7430.54%
Total429,625309,734739,359n/a

Democrats continued to have over 60 percent of all returned absentee ballots—61.5 percent of all returned absentee ballots as of Saturday morning were from Democrats, compared to 21.73 percent for Republicans and 15.47 percent for Decline to State voters.

There were still nearly 76,000 unreturned absentee ballots, including 46,877 from Democrats, 16,033 from Republicans and 14,253 from Decline to State voters.

Republicans, meanwhile, still had cast a plurality of early in-person votes, 44.16 percent of all early in-person votes, compared to Democrats’ 40.06 percent and Decline to State voters’ 14.34 percent.

Over 36 percent of all ballots cast were from Bernalillo County—269,562 in total, with 135,804 through early in-person voting and 133,758 from returned absentee ballots.

Santa Fe County had the second-most votes with 68,838, followed by Doña Ana County at 64,327, Sandoval County at 63,447 and San Juan County with 40,383.

Sandoval County was the first county to exceed its 2016 voter turnout, and, as of Saturday morning, was at 102.21 percent of its turnout in 2016 and 107.91 percent of its turnout in 2008. 

Voter registration in Sandoval County grew by almost 10,500 from the end of October in 2016 to the registration reported on Oct. 30 of this year.

There were eight other counties that reached at least 90 percent of their turnout in 2016: Bernalillo (97.44 percent), Los Alamos (96.13 percent), Santa Fe (95.71 percent), Eddy (94.98 percent), Grant (93.39 percent), Valencia (92.09 percent), Lincoln (91.51 percent) and Doña Ana (90.49 percent). 

Every county has reached at least 60 percent of its turnout in 2016.