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New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver said nearly 660,000 New Mexicans have voted early in-person or by absentee ballot as of Thursday morning, Oct. 29, in the Nov. 3 general election.
Toulouse Oliver presented the numbers during a pre-election briefing she held Thursday morning for media around the state.
She said the early-vote total is “far and away” the most New Mexico has ever had for any election, adding that the state has about 1.3 million total registered voters.
Early voting continues through Saturday, Oct. 31, and 40 voting locations across the county will be open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on election day, Tuesday. Nov. 3. (See additional voting information below)
In early voting as of Thursday morning, the secretary of state’s office reported these totals:
Toulouse Oliver said New Mexico counties (including Doña Ana County) that mailed out more than 10,000 absentee ballots began the adjudication and tabulation process on Saturday, Oct. 24, while smaller counties began it Thursday, Oct. 29. She said no results will be publicly produced until after polls close at 7 p.m. on election night.
The secretary of state encouraged anyone who requested an absentee ballot but has not mailed it back or returned it by hand to do so as soon as possible. She said completed absentee ballots can be taken to early voting locations through Saturday, Oct. 31, to the county clerk’s office through Monday, Nov. 2, or to a voting location on election day. They must be received by 7 p.m. on election night to be counted. As of Oct. 29, Toulouse Oliver said 383,171 absentee ballots had been requested statewide and
277,352 had been returned.
“I’m feeling optimistic that we should be able to get through the absentee-ballot vote count within a day or two after election day,” Toulouse Oliver said. And, she said, final results should be clear “in a lot of races on election night.”
To qualify for an automatic recount under state law in a statewide race, the margin between candidates must be within one-quarter of one percent of the votes cast. To qualify in a local or districted race, the margin must be within one percent, Toulouse Oliver said.
She said the post-election vote-canvassing process extends a couple of weeks beyond election day and includes any hand-counted absentee ballots, write-in votes and qualified provisional ballots, and insures that the total number of ballots equals the number of ballots cast by all voters as well as spoiled and rejected ballots.
Toulouse Oliver said all voting locations are following state public health guidelines, including all poll workers wearing masks and observing social distancing. All in-person voters or those who are dropping off absentee ballots are also encouraged to wear masks and socially distance, she said.
Toulouse Oliver said there are no reports of excessively long lines for early voting anywhere in the state, with about an hour the longest wait time reported. But, she said there may be longer lines during the last few days of early voting, and likely that will also be the case at many polling locations on election day. For election-day voters with little time to vote, Toulouse Oliver suggested voting between 9:30 and 10 a.m. or between 1:30 and 2 p.m.
You can still vote cast your absentee ballot and vote early, or you can vote on Election Day, Tuesday. Nov. 3.
The last day to apply for an absentee ballot was Oct. 20. All ballots must be returned in the provided envelopes by 7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3.
Absentee ballots can be returned by mail; or they can be hand-delivered by the voter, a member of the voter's immediate family or by the voter's caregiver at any voting convenience center during early voting and on Election Day. All early voting sites, including the Doña Ana County Government Center, will have outdoor absentee-ballot return boxes that will be manned by election officials.
There will be outdoor return boxes at 14 Election Day voting centers: Anthony City Hall (Anthony, N.M.), Chaparral Middle School (Chaparral), Desert View Elementary School (Sunland Park), Santa Teresa Middle School (Santa Teresa); and these locations in Las Cruces: Desert Hills Elementary School, Corbett Center (NMSU campus), County Government Center, Jornada Elementary School, Las Cruces City Hall, Lynn Middle School, Mayfield High School, Oñate High School, Sierra Middle School and Sonoma Elementary School.
At all other Election Day voting centers, indoor, tabletop boxes will be utilized for absentee ballots. These boxes will also be manned by election officials.
Early voting continues at these locations:
The alternate voting locations are Anthony City Hall, 820 Highway 478, in Anthony, N.M.; Delores C. Wright Educational Center, 400 E Lisa Drive, Chaparral; Hatch High School, 170 E Herrera Road, Hatch;
Doña Ana Community College: Sunland Park Center, 3365 McNutt Road, Sunland Park; and in Las Cruces: Sonoma Elementary School, 4201 Northrise Drive; Las Cruces City Hall, 700 N Main St.; and Corbett Center, 1600 International Mall, NMSU campus;
ELECTION DAY VOTING
These sites are open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3:
Doña Ana County, outside Las Cruces and Mesilla:
Mesilla and Mesilla Park:
SAME-DAY VOTER REGISTRATION
If a qualified elector chooses to register to vote immediately prior to voting, there are some identification requirements. The voter must provide 1) a New Mexico driver's license or New Mexico identification card issued through the state Motor Vehicle Division of the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department; 2) any document that contains an address in Doña Ana County, together with a photo identification card; or 3) a current, valid student photo identification card from a post-secondary educational institution in New Mexico, accompanied by a current student fee statement that contains the student's address in the county.
To register to vote or check voter registration status online and to access a sample ballot, visit
If you go to vote and election workers cannot locate your information, they will offer you a provisional ballot. Voting by provisional ballot is slightly different from regular voting, but, if you are a qualified voter, your vote will count. Once you complete a provisional ballot, instead of placing it into a machine to be read, you will place it in a sealed envelope, which you will sign. These sealed provisional ballots will be returned to the county clerk’s office on election night for review. After review, they will be taken to the canvassing board to be counted or rejected depending on the qualifications of the voter.
For more information, call 575-647-7428 and visit www.dacelections.com.