The Doña Ana Soil and Water Conservation District (DASWCD) election is today, Tuesday, May 2, for board members in zone positions 3 and 4.
The candidates are Joe Delk and Kevin Bixby for position 3, and D. Craig Fenske and Kent Thurston for position 4.
A county resident is required to live in zone 3 or 4 to be eligible to vote in the election. To see the zone boundaries, visit the Doña Ana County Clerk’s Office website at www.donaanacounty.org/elections.
The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. The six polling locations are the Doña Ana County Government Center, the Sage Cafe and Good Samaritan Village in Las Cruces, Betty McKnight Community Center in Chaparral, Anthony Municipal Complex and the Vado/Del Cerro Community Center near Mesquite.
State law requires soil and water conservation districts to administer their own elections. The DASWCD operates on a limited budget that does not give it enough money to administer its own elections. Therefore, at its request, the Doña Ana County Clerk’s Office Office has assisted with this election for the past three years.
“We are happy to partner with the DASWCD with its election,” said County Clerk Scott Krahling, “however we believe it is important for county residents to understand how the law and budget constraints hinders the abilities of both the clerk’s office and the conservation district to administer an election that voters deserve. In short, we anticipate thousands of voters, so expect long lines on Election Day. We will do the best we can with our limited resources. Keep in mind that if we did not agree to partner with the DASWCD, it would have to run this election on its own.”
This type of election, governed by its own election law, restricts voting. There is no early-voting period and a limited absentee-voting period of only 10 days. The deadline to request an absentee ballot for this election has already passed.
“Budget constraints also limit the equipment that can be deployed on Election Day,” Krahling said. “Since the clerk’s office also has a limited budget, the equipment we use for this election is not the standard voting equipment, and we only have enough equipment to open six locations.”
The voter check-in process is different and requires voters to sign an application to get a ballot instead of a signature pad or paper signature roster. Electronic tabulators will not be used to tally votes, so poll workers will hand tally all ballots.
Since electronic tabulators will not be used, there will not be ballot marking technology available for people with visual impairments, thus requiring them to obtain assistance from others including poll workers. Anyone can assist voters who need help marking their ballots, including poll workers.