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New Mexico

0 /65
Vote at Home Score

2020 General Election

Turnout rate (VEP)

0 %

Votes cast from mailed-out ballots

0 %

2016 General Election

Turnout rate (VEP)

0 %

Votes cast from mailed out ballots

0 %

State election policies as of 2022...

Full Vote-at-Home

0/10

Full Vote-at-Home

Voter automatically mailed ballot for every election

No Excuse Required

6/6

No Excuse Required

No excuse to vote from home

Single Sign-Up

0/6

Single Sign-Up

Voter signs up once to receive mail ballot for all future elections

Local Vote-at-Home Option

3/5

Local VAH Option

Local governments have discretion to conduct full vote-at-home elections

Online Mail Ballot Sign-Up

2/2

Online Mail Ballot Sign-Up

Voter can apply for mail ballot online

Ballot Tracking

1/4

Ballot Tracking

Voter can receive ballot status notifications.

In-Person Ballot Return

4/5

In-Person Ballot Return

Voter has multiple options to return mail ballot in person

Signature Verification

0/5

Signature Verification

Voter signature verified before ballot is counted

Ballot Cure Process

0/4

Ballot Cure Process

Voter can correct issues so ballot can be counted

Prepaid Postage

4/4

Prepaid Postage

Postage-paid return envelopes provided

Election Day Postmark Acceptance

0/4

Election Day Postmark Acceptance

Ballots postmarked by Election Day are accepted

In-Person Voting

4/4

In-Person Return

Physical locations for voters to vote and receive assistance

Pre-Processing

2/3

Signature Verification

Ballots are verified and scanned before Election Day

Mail Ballot Applications

2/2

Mail Ballot Applications

Election officials can mail ballot applications to all voters eligible to vote from home

Ballot Return Assistance

1/2

Ballot Return Assistance

Voters may receive assistance to return their mail ballot

Opportunities

New Mexico can reduce costs and increase voter convenience by creating a permanent absentee voting list, where voters can sign up to automatically be sent an absentee ballot for each election without having to re-apply. On average, states save $1 for every request they no longer need to process.
In the event that a voter’s ballot is rejected, said voter should have the ability to cure their ballot quickly and simply. New Mexico created a temporary cure process to give voters their ability, but it will expire at the end of 2021. New Mexico should make the cure process permanent for all future elections and can improve upon it by ensuring the period voters can cure their ballots extends to 5 days after election day and implementing a Text2Cure system that allows voters to cure their ballots from their phones.
New Mexico can increase local autonomy by permanently allowing counties to choose to conduct their elections by mail. This reduces costs dramatically, particularly for low-turnout local elections and in rural areas, and often increases turnout as well.
As use of absentee ballots increases, it is important to make sure that the ballots received are being filled out by the individuals they were sent to. Signature verification procedures ensure the security of the election process while also streamlining ballot processing.
Expanding same day voter registration to include election day would improve upon New Mexico’s ability to ensure that any eligible resident who wasn’t automatically registered and wants to cast a ballot in an election can.
Ballot tracking software such as Ballot Scout or BallotTrax can be a very cost-effective tool to improve New Mexico’s current ballot tracking and increase voter confidence by allowing voters to track their ballot much like an Amazon package. It also adds a layer of data for the elections office who can also track the ballots to make sure they have reached their destination. Furthermore, these tools can be used as another modality to contact voters if there is a signature mismatch or deficiency on their return envelope.
We highly recommend that New Mexico continue its expansion of vote centers, where all polling locations allow any voter in the county to vote. This can streamline the system so over time, as the share of the vote cast by mail increases, counties can have fewer overall polling locations, while individual voters will have more voting location options.
Accepting ballots with Election Day postmarks is a best practice to ensure that voters are given all options to vote their ballot in a timely manner, as it’s estimated in most jurisdictions to decrease ballot rejection rates by half. We recommend that not only does a state allow the physical postmark on a ballot, but also to integrate into the USPS system for electronic postmarks to serve as validation that a ballot was mailed on time.

Recent Legislation

As of May 19, 2021

In response to the pandemic, New Mexico passed SB 4 which had a variety of pro-voter reforms, including creating a temporary cure process, turning all voting locations into vote centers (locations where voters from any part of the county can vote), and permanently adding prepaid postage for absentee ballots. 10 countries took advantage of the temporary law to send absentee applications to all voters. It also allowed counties to hold the 2020 general election by mail, but only if they met a variety of criteria and went through a long and difficult process. In essence, there were too many restrictions in the emergency plan for counties to realistically go about obtaining permission. In 2021, the legislature temporarily extended the cure process and vote center expansion to the end of 2021 for any special elections that may come up to replace representatives, but left out allowing counties to host their elections by mail.

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