Over 5,500 New Mexicans requested absentee ballots as of the afternoon of Wednesday March 25, according to the Secretary of State’s office. That is after her office opened the state’s absentee ballot portal on March 20.
The launch of the online portal came a month earlier than normal for the June 2 primary elections. New Mexico offers “no-excuse” absentee voting, which means any eligible voter can vote by absentee just by requesting a ballot. Some states don’t have any absentee voting, while others only allow voters to request absentee ballots for certain reasons. The online portal for absentee ballots only began in 2018, so there is not a direct comparison for the numbers this year, in a presidential election year, which has higher turnout than elections without a presidential race on the ballot.
New Mexico voters finished early voting with a flourish, with over 88,000 New Mexicans casting ballots early and in-person in the final two days of early voting on Friday and Saturday, according to the New Mexico Secretary of State’s office. More voters voted early this year than in either 2008 or 2012, even as absentee voting numbers continue to fall. Democrats finished with a 64,727 vote advantage with early voting over Republicans, casting 229,208 early ballots compared to 164,481 for Republicans. Those not part of either major party cast 79,478 ballots early. Early voting ended Saturday.
Early voting numbers have already exceeded total early votes cast in New Mexico during the 2008 and 2012 elections, according to the latest numbers from the Secretary of State’s office. A total of 376,088 voters cast early in-person votes through the close of polls Thursday, 28,929 more than in 2008 and 1,514 more than in 2012. Early voting closes Saturday. A total of 52,639 voters have returned absentee ballots, bringing the total ballots cast up to 428,727—just under 33 percent vote turnout even before election day. The number of absentee ballots cast is well off the pace from 2008 and 2012 levels.
From Monday through Thursday, another 146,001 voters cast ballots in New Mexico through either early-in person voting or by returning absentee ballots, bringing the total to over 240,000 votes so far. The numbers, provided by the Secretary of State’s office, are as of end of day Thursday. In all, 240,433 voters have already cast ballots, with more than a week left of early in-person voting and a week and a half until election day. Early voting has again proven far more popular than absentee voting. So far, 207,214 New Mexicans have cast in-person ballots through early voting, while 33,219 returned absentee ballots.