The House of Representatives approved amendments made by the Senate to a bill expanding the state Election Code on a 42-25 vote Monday. This is the final step for the bill before it goes to the governor’s desk.
HB 4 would expand automatic voter registration, restore convicted felons’ right to vote upon release from prison, create a voluntary permanent absentee voter list, and enact the Native American Voting Rights Act to the state Election Code.
One of the Senate amendments to the bill is a definition of incarceration.
“‘Correctional facility’ means a jail, prison or other detention facility that is used for the confinement of an adult, whether operated by the state or a political subdivision of the state or a private contractor on behalf of the state or a political subdivision of the state,” the bill states.
More: Voting rights bill passes senate, nears governor’s desk
Halfway houses are not correctional facilities which means there would not include the same restrictions if the person was in a jail or prison, bill co-sponsor House Majority Floor Leader Rep. Gail Chasey, D-Albuquerque, said.
“The New Mexico Voting Rights Act will empower our diverse communities to participate in our elections, strengthen democracy, and make our government more representative of its people,” said Speaker of the House Javier Martínez, D-Albuquerque, said in a statement after the vote.