How state officials are ensuring voter security and safety | KOB 4

How state officials are ensuring voter security and safety

Brittany Costello
Created: October 28, 2020 06:43 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — There’s been a huge push to get out and vote this year, and more people are doing that from the comfort of their own homes via absentee ballot.

“We are seeing record-breaking turnout in New Mexico, no question,” said Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver.

Toulouse Oliver said the state has already achieved almost 80 percent of the voter turnout from 2016, with six more days to go till Election Day. Those who haven’t mailed their ballot back yet are advised to drop it off in-person so it’s guaranteed to be counted.

In some counties, ballot counting is already underway.

“Every county in New Mexico gets a head start counting absentee ballots. Counties that had mailed more than 10,000 ballots were able to start on Saturday,” Toulouse Oliver said. 

Due to the huge voter turnout, there’s also been concerns over voter safety and security.

“If you see people shouting obscenities or being intimidating, if you see law enforcement at a polling place and you think its questionable or not appropriate, call 866-OURVOTE, call the attorney general's office, call the Secretary of State because your state officials will make sure that any intimidation or any attempt to block people from voting or to suppress the vote will be dealt with swiftly,” said New Mexico Speaker of the House Brian Egolf.

The national organization Common Cause is also helping out by providing poll watchers, social media monitors and rovers all over the country—including New Mexico—to protect voter rights. 

“We're distanced from the voters, we've put up signs so that people can call us, and we are there at polling locations around the country to answer voters’ questions, to help them figure out what's wrong, what's maybe keeping them from accessing the ballot,” said Sylvia Albert, director of voting and elections for Common Cause.

Voters still have time to vote early. Same day voter registration ends Saturday and Election Day is Nov. 3.


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