After a rancorous and partisan debate Wednesday, state senators approved a bill that would allow people to register to vote up to three days before an election. Voter registration now stops 28 days before a primary or general election. The bill sponsor, Sen. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, called that an antiquated cutoff date and said some states offer same-day voter registration. Steinborn’s Senate Bill 224 passed on a 19-11 party-line vote with Democrats supporting it and Republicans opposing. The fact that all Republicans voted against it probably is not a good sign that Republican Gov. Susana Martinez would sign the bill if it clears the House of Representatives.
Almost 1.3 million New Mexicans registered to vote in time to cast ballots this year. That is an increase of nearly 35,000 voters since 2012, the last presidential election, but up just under 3,000 votes since the 2014 midterms (over 100,000 voter registrations were removed from voter rolls in early 2015 as part of a regular removal of inactive voters). These numbers come from the Secretary of State’s office. Of the 1,289,019 registered voters, 28,446 registered between Sept. 30 and the Oct.
More than 25,000 New Mexicans either registered to vote or updated their voter registration online this Monday and Tuesday, the final two days for New Mexicans to register to vote for this November’s elections. On Oct. 10, 14,237 New Mexicans registered or updated their voter registrations online. On Oct. 11, the final day of registration, 11,552 New Mexicans registered or updated their voter registrations online, according to the Secretary of State’s office.