Secretary of State prepares for 2019 legislative session | KOB 4
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Secretary of State prepares for 2019 legislative session

Kai Porter
November 20, 2018 06:34 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The state is still in the process of canvassing election returns, a process that began once all the counties across the state completed their canvass of the election results.

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Election workers with the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office are going through all the election returns submitted by the counties, checking for errors and making sure everything adds up.

“Sometimes there are gaps and differences that we need to consult with the county clerks to try and work out and get to the accurate answer,” said Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver. “The whole goal of which is to make sure that when we certify the election results that we are certifying the actual accurate election results from election day.”

The Secretary of State’s Office has until next Tuesday to complete the canvassing. That’s when the official election results will be certified for races that won’t require a recount.

During a wide-ranging interview with reporters in her office Tuesday afternoon, Toulouse Oliver also said she’ll be supporting a couple of bills that would allow open primaries in our state, meaning voters not registered with a major party would be permitted to vote in primary elections.

“We had a lot of issues this last year with people who, for whatever reason, thought they were registered to vote in a major party believed themselves to be, and showed up on Election Day and found they were not affiliated with a major party, or for personal reason do not want, in a public document, to be affiliated with a major party,” she said.

There are plenty of opponents to open primaries in New Mexico who don’t like the idea of voters not registered with a particular party to be allowed to pick that party’s nominee.

But Toulouse Oliver believes it will improve voter participation.

“So if you’re able to participate in a primary, you will be more likely to participate in a general and other elections,” she said.

Toulouse Oliver also says she’ll be backing bills that allow same-day voter registration in our state.

Currently, voters must be registered to vote at least 28 days before the election.

“I personally believe that it’s something we can do here. We have the technology, probably would take a few more resources at the county clerk level. You’d have to train a poll worker and provide a poll worker and train for that so we’d have to make sure those resources were available but that’s definitely something I’m interested seeing come to fruition,” she said.

The 2019 Legislative Session, which will be 60 days, begins on January 15th.

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Kai Porter

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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