Governor signs bill consolidating certain local elections
March 08, 2018 06:47 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The way New Mexicans vote for a lot of important issues will be changing soon.
Gov. Susana Martinez signed the Local Election Act into law Wednesday. It will consolidate non-partisan local elections during the year.
The new law is aimed at making the voting process less confusing and saving taxpayers' money. Non-partisan elections include electing school board members, city officers and bond questions.
"Elections aren't cheap," said Jaime Diaz, the deputy county clerk in Bernalillo County.
Diaz said it can cost between $600,000 and $700,000 just to hold an APS/CNM election, and the schools pay most of the bill. He says consolidating non-partisan elections will save taxpayers' money by combining different local elections each year into one.
"It will save some districts a lot of money," Diaz said. "It will save some districts some money and some districts may have no charge at all."
Consolidated local elections will now be held each November of odd-numbered years. General elections won't change and will still be held each November of even-numbered years.
Besides the savings to taxpayers, Diaz hopes the change will also increase voter turnout.
"This is a great move for New Mexico," he said. "To consolidate these elections into one day, to give the voter the opportunity to take one day in the odd-number years to go vote for everything they're qualified for in one day, at one location."
Cities around the state can also opt into the consolidated elections in November. Otherwise municipal elections will be held in March. The first consolidated local election will take place in November 2019.
Updated: March 08, 2018 06:47 PM
Created: March 08, 2018 05:42 PM
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