Early voting numbers remain below 2018 midterm

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M – We are seeing some big numbers for early and absentee ballots already cast in New Mexico, and there’s hope for an even bigger turnout tomorrow on Election Day. 

“People really like to vote on Election Day. Our busy times tend to be the morning rush hour, lunch hour and evening rush hour,” said Michelle Kavanaugh a Bernalillo County’s deputy county clerk. 

Kavanaugh says early voter turnout in Bernalillo County is promising at 38%. But, she’s anticipating by the end of Election Day, turnout will surpass that of the last midterm in 2018.

“People have so many options right now,” explained Kavanaugh. 

And people around the state are using those options. Statewide early and absentee numbers show turnout is just trailing that of 2018, with both hovering around 440,000 ballots cast.

In order to top 2018, we’ll need to see more than 260,000 New Mexicans hit the polls on Election Day.

Kavanaugh says with 72 voting sites in Bernalillo County – access will not be an issue.

“Your vote is safe. It’s a very, very thorough process, there are tons of checks and balances in the process,” said Kavanaugh. 

If you haven’t registered already, Kavanaugh says you can still do so on Election Day, at various spots around the county.

For people who requested an absentee ballot – but have not yet mailed it off –  do not put it in the mail, physically take your absentee ballot to a polling location to ensure that your vote is counted.

KOB 4 broke down the makeup of those ballots and what it could mean heading into Election Day.

More than 400,000 New Mexicans have cast a ballot so far, a majority of those are registered Democrats.

Almost 225,000 Democrats compared to 152,000 registered Republicans.

“The Republicans tend to have, higher Election Day than Democrats, but both sides are working hard to voters to the poll. So we can hope for high election turnout – thats good for democracy,” said Tim Krebs, UNM political science professor. 

Krebs says just because we know who has voted, doesn’t mean we know how they voted.

“We can surmise that Democrats are voting for Democrats and Republicans for Republicans, but it may not be the case. Voters do cross over and vote for the other party,” said Krebs. 

We’ve seen, from plenty of attack ads this political season, candidates are hoping big issues like the economy, crime and abortion bring in votes.

“Especially people who are not strongly affiliated with either party. You can see that the economy is the top issue, by far the top issue. You can see where someone not strongly affiliated one way or another may be casting their vote for change,” Krebs said. 

Another chunk of those votes, about 60,000, represent those categories of voters who decline to state political party, libertarians, or others.