New Mexico's primary election one week away
Posted at: 05/29/2012 5:39 PM
| Updated at: 05/29/2012 6:32 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4
New Mexico's primary election is just one week away, with early voting going on statewide, but all indicators are pointing to a low turnout.
Veteran election-watchers expect the turnout for Democrats will be about 25 percent of their voters, and for Republicans it may be even lower,
"How unfortunate," said voter Josie Lucero after casting her early vote ballot Tuesday afternoon at the County Annex at 7th and Lomas in downtown Albuquerque. " That's really too bad. I guess there's not as much enthusiasm."
"I think this is really an important election, for all the seats in all the places in New Mexico, and the big one - we're voting for president," said voter Phoenix Forrester, who cast her ballot a few minutes after Lucero. "I would say please, please do your civic duty!"
The early vote in big Bernalillo County has to be disappointing to anybody who favors widespread participation in the election process, but it is what it is. There were 10,853 early ballots cast as of noon Tuesday; 6,529 of them in the Democratic primary and 4,261 in the Republican election. In addition, 6,429 absentee ballots have been mailed out in Bernalillo County with 4,042 already sent back in.
The early vote means a longer and more expensive campaign season for candidates, said University of New Mexico Political Science professor Tim Krebs.
"All of this sort of extends the campaign season in terms of advertising, because you can't be flat-footed when it comes to early voting," Krebs said.
The early vote is always popular with people who do not want to wait in those long lines on Election Day.
"It was wonderful," said Lucero. "It facilitates the vote…there was nobody waiting. It was cool and everybody was very helpful, so I really liked it."
"Seventh and Lomas - this place is always not crowded," said Forrester. "You just get right in and they're very nice and it's just a breeze. That's why I always come here - early."
You can early vote in Bernalillo County from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 17 locations. We've got the links here. But the early vote stops at 8 Saturday evening, and then your last chance is on old-fashioned Election Day itself - next Tuesday, June 5.