Every State, Every Vote: New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham Ensures Access to Safe and Secure Elections Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Democratic New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation to expand access to vote-by-mail and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the general election. The new law allows county clerks to automatically mail applications for absentee ballots to each voter in their county.
Additionally, the bill requires poll workers to wear PPE on election day and ensures polling places will not be closed in New Mexico’s pueblos and tribes without written consent from the nation. If needed, the Secretary of Health and Secretary of State have the flexibility to establish additional provisions to adapt to changing public health concerns.
Read more about Gov. Lujan Grisham’s new legislation below and learn how Democratic governors are fighting to expand access to the ballot box at EveryStateEveryVote.com.
Associated Press: Governor signs 3 bills from special session
The creation of a state commission on civil rights and changes aimed at ensuring access to Election Day polls on Native American lands are among the measures signed into law by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Albuquerque Journal: New election law opens door to curbside, mail-in voting
New Mexico voters this fall might cast their ballots at drive-thru sites, fill them out during expanded early-voting hours or even receive them by mail.
The extra flexibility is part of complex election legislation signed into law Friday by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Under the legislation, any new procedures will have to be designed to protect public health amid the coronavirus pandemic. Procedures must be consistent with federal guidelines or be “otherwise evidence-based.” The rules could vary by county, depending on the severity of the outbreak in different parts of New Mexico.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a new bill Friday meant to guarantee public health precautions will be in place for all New Mexico voters for the upcoming November elections.
Responding to the hurdles of holding elections in an ongoing pandemic, Senate Bill 4 contains provisions that require Personal Protection Equipment for poll workers, requires use of COVID-safe practices, and authorizes the Department of Health Secretary to establish county-specific public health requirements in response to regional public health concerns.
Counties also will provide polling locations within hard-hit tribal nations and pueblos – an issue area that has been a point of contention in past elections.
Santa Fe New Mexican: Governor signs voting, civil rights bills
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed three pieces of legislation from the special session into law Friday, including bills aimed at streamlining voting during the novel coronavirus pandemic, creating a civil rights commission and putting money back in the state’s coffers.
The election reform, which passed with bipartisan support in the Senate and along party lines in the House, will allow county clerks to automatically send absentee ballot applications to registered voters.
Senate Bill 4 is intended to make the voting-by-mail process more efficient in the November election after county clerks were overwhelmed by the huge volume of absentee ballots they received during this month’s primary election, leading to long delays in tallying results in several areas of the state.