Secure ballot boxes pose a problem for some New Mexico counties

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office is making sure every county has secure ballot drop-off boxes available to voters 24/7. But some counties are running into problems setting up these new secure boxes.

The Secretary of State wants more secure voting boxes in every county across the state.

“Whether you are a voter in De Baca County or Bernalillo County or Santa Fe County that your experience voting is uniform no matter where you vote in the state,” said Alex Curtas, communications director for the New Mexico Secretary of State.

The new rule made by the Secretary of State said every county needs at least two secure ballot drop boxes. But now, with local elections only two weeks away, many counties haven’t installed any new boxes yet.

Bernalillo County, for example, has both of their boxes on hand, but they are learning installation may take time. The boxes have to be bolted to the ground – locked at all times – in a lighted area and monitored by video.

“Though we don’t have all the counties in total compliance right now for these local elections, we are working with them to make sure they are in compliance for the primary,” said Curtas.

Right now, Bernalillo County has two secured drop boxes available to the public during normal business hours, but they are working with a vendor so people can drop off their ballot any time of day.