Democrats outpacing others in CD-1 special election voting

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Early voting is underway for New Mexico’s congressional district one seat.

So far, Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover said things have been off to a slow start.

“I would just really hope people would realize just how important this really is for our congressional district right in the middle of the state, biggest population. We need all the representation in Washington we can get,” Stover said.

There are four candidates vying for the seat: Democrat Melanie Stanbury, Republican Mark Moores, Libertarian Chris Manning, and Independent Aubrey Dunn. There are also two write-ins.

According to early numbers from the Secretary of State’s Office, CD-1 Democrats appear to be outvoting Republicans by more than double—almost 35,000 to 16,000.

“This is extremely low turnout even for a special election, in my opinion, at the moment in New Mexico, which really suggests that everyone in New Mexico, there’s no campaign out there really mobilizing people,” said Lonna Atkeson, a political science professor at UNM and executive director for the Institute for Social Research.

CD-1 encompasses portions of Bernalillo, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Torrance and Valencia counties.

County Clerk Stover said it’s a good idea for people to double-check their district.

“We put in, of course, COVID-19 restrictions prior to all the yes with masks, no with masks, so our poll workers will be wearing masks,” she said. “And we’re going to ask the public to just out of respect to our poll workers or other people in the facility—but we can’t make them.”

Historically, New Mexico has a lower turnout during these type of elections. Stover said right now they’re seeing a 13%-15% turnout. The turnout for the general election back in November was 77%.