Over 485,000 New Mexicans have already voted

Voter turnout in New Mexico is quickly approaching half a million, as 486,626 voters have already cast their ballots as of Friday morning, according to numbers provided by the Secretary of State’s office. This included 259,193 voters who have cast ballots via early in-person voting and 227,433 who returned absentee ballots. While it’s unclear whether this is just regular voters shifting their voting forward, it appears New Mexico is headed toward record turnout this year. The updated number of requested absentee ballots was not immediately available, but it appears the percent of returned absentee ballots is nearing 60 percent. Voters must return absentee ballots by 7 p.m. on Nov.

COVID-19 hits new daily record in NM: 827 new cases of COVID-19, eight new deaths

State health officials reported 827 new cases of COVID-19, the highest number reported in a single day in the state, and the second time in the last week the state has reported 800 or more confirmed cases in a single day. 

DOH also reported eight additional deaths, the most reported in a single day since Sept. 1. The seven-day average of confirmed daily cases by the date they were reported reached 633. The seven-day average was 88 on Sept. 12.

Voter turnout crosses 380,000, as NM hits record absentee turnout

As of Wednesday morning, 381,995 people have cast ballots for the general election in New Mexico, including a record number of those who have returned absentee ballots. The new numbers provided by the Secretary of State’s office showed that 187,971 voters had returned absentee ballots—the most ever in an election, breaking the record previously set in 2008 of 172,136. The 187,971 were 49.43 percent of the 380,280 voters who requested absentee ballots. Tuesday was the final day for voters to request absentee ballots. All absentee ballots in New Mexico must be returned by 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov.

Hospital capacity a looming problem amid COVID-19 surge, and restaurants have to get COVID-safe certified

“The state of New Mexico last week experienced its worst week for COVID-19 infections throughout the duration of the pandemic,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said during a press conference on Tuesday with other state officials. She also acknowledged troubling patterns when it came to hospitalizations. Because of this, she announced further restrictions on businesses, including restaurants, beginning on Friday. But she did not put a stop to indoor dining—as long as restaurants complete the state’s COVID-safe certification program. Restaurants that complete the online program will be able to continue serving 25 percent of maximum capacity of indoor patrons, along with outdoor service.

Nearly 600 new cases of COVID-19, seven deaths

State health officials reported 599 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday and seven deaths related to the disease. This is the sixth time in the last week that the state has reported 500 or more cases after not doing so in the previous seven months of the pandemic. 

Bernalillo County reported 154 new cases of the disease, while Doña Ana County reported 135 new cases. Eleven other counties reported double-digit increases in cases: Curry County (45), Santa Fe County (33), San Juan County (30), Otero County (29), Chaves County (26), Eddy County (21), Lea County (18), Sandoval County (18), Luna County (17), McKinley County (16) and Valencia County (15). 

The state Department of Health also reported one new case among individuals held by federal agencies at the Otero County Prison Facility and one new case among New Mexico Corrections Department inmates at the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Valencia County. DOH offered the following information about the seven deaths: 

A male in his 80s from Curry County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A female in her 80s from Eddy County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A second female in her 80s from Eddy County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A male in his 60s from Roosevelt County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A male in his 40s from Santa Fe County who had underlying conditions.A male in his 80s from Santa Fe County who was hospitalized and was a resident of the Kingston Residence in Santa Fe.A female in her 90s from Santa Fe County who was hospitalized and was a resident of the Kingston Residence in Santa Fe. DOH did not disclose which underlying condition the man had, only if one was present.

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.

‘We’re all in the same storm.’ Some voters worry politicians aren’t taking climate change seriously enough

For 18-year-old Artemisio Romero y Carver, a single piece of legislation changed his outlook on participating in democracy. 

Romero y Carver, a steering committee member of Youth United for Climate Crisis Action (YUCCA), said that before 2019, he was not engaged with the politics of a government that he felt didn’t represent him or address his concerns. 

“Then I read the Green New Deal. For the first time I saw a document, a piece of legislation, something that was part of the U.S. government that didn’t seem antithetical to my own life, that seemed like a genuine representation of my interests, in policy,” he said. 

Romero y Carver was not alone. The Green New Deal, introduced by U.S. Rep. for New York Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, a Democrat from New York, and Democratic U.S. Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, galvanized a sector of the electorate, even if it didn’t get very far in Congress. The legislation, a set of goals which outlined an aggressive transition to renewables that included support for fossil fuel-dependent communities and the electrification of the U.S. transportation sector, was quickly written off by many moderate Democrats and the entire Republican Party at the national level as being unrealistic.  

But for Romero y Carver, and other young voters who are deeply concerned about climate change, the plan was an example of exactly the type of policies that are needed to address the climate crisis head on. 

“In general, I find that people my age recognize climate change and recognize the immediate need for bold action. But we also don’t feel that that is ever possible when it comes to voting.

518 new cases of COVID-19 in NM, one additional death

On Monday, the New Mexico Department of Health reported 518 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death. This is the fifth time in the last week that New Mexico reported 500 or more cases after not doing so in the previous seven months of the pandemic. Bernalillo County, the most populous county in the state, reported 123 new cases, while Doña Ana County reported 102 cases. This is the 15th straight day that DOH reported 100 or more cases in Bernalillo County in a single day, and the fourth time overall with 100 or more cases in a single day in Doña Ana County. DOH also reported 28 new cases among detainees or inmates of state or federal authorities, including 24 among state inmates at the Lea County Correctional Facility.

Candidate Neomi Martinez-Parra tells her personal story about abortion

When Neomi Martinez-Parra heard her doctor tell her she needed an abortion about 14 years ago, she went numb. Martinez-Parra, 51, talked to NM Political Report this week about the story of her pregnancy and her abortion because she feels it is important for her to talk about her experience. “I was so embarrassed and ashamed to talk about it,” she said. “Now I’m running for office and I’m talking to lots of women and victims and realize how important it is for women to speak out and speak up.”

Martinez-Parra beat long-time Democratic state Senator and Senate Finance Committee Chair John Arthur Smith in the Democratic primary this June. Smith has held state Senate District 35 for 31 years.

More than 400 new cases of COVID-19 in NM

The New Mexico Department of Health reported Sunday an additional 448 cases of COVID-19 and five more deaths related to the disease. The newly reported cases mark the second day of non-record breaking daily cases. The Sunday’s numbers are still significantly high compared to earlier this year, and are higher than any previous Sunday, which typically have lower totals. 

According to state health officials, there are currently 171 people hospitalized with COVID-19 and 19,894 have been deemed recovered. 

Bernalillo County, the state’s most populous county, accounted for about 30 percent of the newly reported cases. Included in the new numbers are three new cases from two prison facilities that house federal detainees. 

As of Sunday DOH reported a total of 1,054,891 people were tested for COVID-19. 

The new cases by county are below. 

151 new cases in Bernalillo County26 new cases in Chaves County5 new cases in Cibola County9 new cases in Curry County68 new cases in Doña Ana County13 new cases in Eddy County3 new cases in Grant County26 new cases in Lea County3 new cases in Lincoln County1 new case in Los Alamos County32 new cases in Luna County6 new cases in McKinley County2 new cases in Otero County5 new cases in Rio Arriba County3 new cases in Roosevelt County31 new cases in Sandoval County8 new cases in San Juan County4 new cases in San Miguel County28 new cases in Santa Fe County1 new case in Sierra County5 new cases in Socorro County1 new case in Taos County14 new cases in Valencia County1 new case among individuals held by federal agencies at the Cibola County Correctional Center2 new cases among individuals held by federal agencies at the Otero County Prison Facility

The newly reported COVI-19 related deaths are below. 

A female in her 70s from McKinley County who was hospitalized.A female in her 60s from Rio Arriba County who had underlying conditions.A female in her 90s from Sandoval County who had underlying conditions and was a resident of the Rio Rancho Center facility in Rio Rancho.A male in his 80s from Santa Fe County who was hospitalized and had underlying conditions.A female in her 30s from Socorro County who was hospitalized. Bernalillo, besides reporting the most new cases, still has the most cumulative number of positive cases, followed by Doña Ana County.