Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver wins second term

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, the incumbent who has been in office since 2016, won her seat easily according to unofficial results as of 10:45 p.m.. Her primary opponent, Republican Audrey Trujillo, trailed by 15 points. Libertarian candidate Mayna Erika Myers received less than five percent of the vote. Toulouse Oliver carried the majority of votes in the state’s most populous counties – Santa Fe, Bernalillo and Doña Ana counties but Trujillo carried many rural counties, including Eddy, Chaves, Curry, Lea, Quay and Union counties. But Toulouse Oliver carried some traditionally Democratic rural counties, including Grant and McKinley.

Advocates hopeful voting rights legislation will help break down barriers for the formerly incarcerated

Justin Allen, a community organizer, was eligible to vote in 2017 but he could not register until his third try, he said. And even at the third try, he required help from another organizer to convince the county clerk to allow him to register. Allen’s story is not unique, he and other community organizers told NM Political Report. Allen was released from prison in 2015. By 2017, he completed his parole and became eligible, per state law, to vote.

Sick, quarantined or at risk because of COVID-19 can still vote

The Secretary of State issued an emergency procedure last week that enables those who are sick with COVID-19 or at higher risk due to the illness to be able to cast their ballot despite the fact that the period for requesting an absentee ballot has passed. The guidance also allows for anyone in the state who is confined because of risk, exposure or quarantine order because of the respiratory illness to be able to cast a ballot in the final 24 hours of the election. Alex Curtas, communications director for the Secretary of State’s office, said that if the voter goes through all the steps, they can still cast their ballot Tuesday. He also said the guidance is applicable to voters who have been told by a health care provider that they are at higher risk for COVID-19. Any individual who is sick with the virus or confined because of it or at higher risk of complications can request a provisional paper ballot by submitting a completed GE2020 Emergency Voting Affidavit.

Elections Director: GOP challenger in Doña Ana County told to ‘push the envelope’ by Republican Party

The state elections director is threatening potential legal consequences to the Republican Party of New Mexico after a Republican election challenger said the party told him to “push the envelope” on what was legal inside the absentee precinct board. The incident allegedly began Friday when two Republican election challengers allegedly grabbed the Doña Ana County Bureau of Election Director, began filming him and did not comply with election board members’ requests to stop. In a statement Friday evening, the state Republican Party denied that any assault occurred and said surveillance video showed this. The challengers’ behavior is illegal, according to a letter Mandy Vigil, state elections director, sent to the Republican Party of New Mexico Chairman Steve Pearce. The election board came to a full stop of ballot tabulations, according to the letter.

ABQ ethics board rules against anti-abortion group

The City of Albuquerque’s Board of Ethics ruled unanimously that an anti-abortion group broke city election rules when the group sent mailers in opposition of a City Council candidate. The board issued a $1,000 fine and a public reprimand. Protest ABQ sent fliers depicting graphic scenes purportedly from abortions in an attempt sway voters in District 6 from voting for Pat Davis, who won the race. Davis, the Executive Director of the political group ProgressNow New Mexico*, previously worked on a campaign against a ballot initiative in Albuquerque that would have banned late-term abortions. Alex Curtas, an employee of ProgressNow New Mexico, filed a complaint against Protest ABQ and it’s founders Bud and Tara Shaver arguing they should have registered as a Measure Finance Committee.

Anti-abortion mailer may have violated city election law

An anti-abortion group is getting attention for targeting an Albuquerque city council candidate with graphic imagery and one of their mailers is being investigated by the city’s ethics board. Protest ABQ, the group that sent the mailer, isn’t registered with the city as an Measure Finance Committee, which is required to be in order to send material opposing a political candidate. The mailer also didn’t list the address of Protest ABQ or the printer of the mailer, which city campaign rules require. Sent out last week, the mailer shows a picture of what’s purported to be a bloody fetus from a “late-term” abortion and a woman who the mailer says “died from LEGAL abortion.”

Yet the mailer’s attacks are saved for Pat Davis*, a District 6 city council candidate running to replace retiring Councilor Rey Garduño. “Davis champions this…” the mailer reads above the graphic photos.