Voters’ Guide

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Primary Election June 7, Tuesday

Young Voters Registering to Vote

The Primary for the November General Election is being held on June 7, 2016 Tuesday. This is an election where multiple candidates from the same party for the same office compete to see which one of them will be on the ballot in November. There will be a ballot for Republicans and a ballot for Democrats, as these are the only parties that are fielding candidates.

In order to vote in the Primary election, you must be registered as either a Republican or a Democrat. Democrats pick the Democratic candidates; Republicans pick the Republican candidates. "Independent Party" voters would pick candidates from the Independent Party, if any were running, and ditto for the Green Party, and so forth. Voters who declare themselves "independent" - that is, claiming to be affiliated with no political party, and termed "DTS" (decline to state) in New Mexico - don't get to vote in the Primary.

So, if you wish to vote in the Primary election, you must be registered as either a Democrat or Republican by May 10.

Why Register Under a Party? Well, look at what offices are up for contention in the Primary: President of the United States, for one. There are also several state and county offices where candidates from the same party are competing (we will provide a list "shortly"). If you want any voice in who is selected, this is how it's done. And remember, registering under a political party doesn't make you a "member" of that party or commit you to voting for them in the General Election. It just enables you to participate in that Party's primary elections.

Key Dates for the Primary Election


May 10, Tuesday is the last day you can register to vote, update your registration information, change or declare a Party affiliation, etc.

Absentee Voting (by Mail)

May 10, Tuesday is when absentee ballots will begin being mailed out. Anyone can request one at any time. Ballots must be returned in time to arrive in the County Clerk's office by end of business on Election Day.

Early Voting

May 10, Tuesday through June 4, Saturday you can vote early in person at the County Clerk's office.

May 21, Saturday through June 4, Saturday, you can vote early at a wide variety of Early Voting Centers (list provided when available). Any voter can vote at any Vote Center in their county.

Election Day

June 7, Tuesday is Election Day. You can vote at any of the Vote Centers in your county.

Voting Information

Voting 101

The state League, LWV New Mexico, has prepared a three-page guide to voting in New Mexico, available here as Word format and PDF.


Now, you can register to vote or update your registration on line! Here's how to get more details about registering to vote:


Is identification required when I register?

You need to present identification when you register to vote only if you are registering for the first time in your county and you register by mail. If you do not submit the proper identification, you will be asked to provide it before you vote in your first election. Accepted identification if you are registering for the first time by mail includes a copy of any current and valid photo ID, a utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or any other government document that shows your current and valid name and address.

What identification is required when I vote?

For most voters, you need to state your name and perhaps verify your address and year of birth. If you are voting for the first time, you may need to show a current and valid photo ID, a utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or any other government document that shows your current and valid name and address.



You can avoid the rush and vote before Election Day by mailing in an absentee ballot, voting early in person in the County Clerk's office, or by voting at any of the Early Voting sites.


Any person qualified to vote may vote by absentee ballot. Absentee voting does not require photo ID. Apply by phone by calling 311, or by mail for an absentee ballot to the County Clerk's office. The County Clerk's office will verify the application information and mail your absentee ballot to you.

Your completed ballot must be received in the County Clerk's office no later than 7:00 p.m., on Election Day, Tuesday, June 7. Absentee ballot packets delivered in person to the County Clerk's office must be delivered by the voter or by members of the voter's immediate family. Immediate family means spouse, children, parents, brothers and sisters.

Be sure to read and follow the instructions on your absentee ballot! In a recent Albuquerque election, ballots were rejected (not counted) when voters failed to sign the inner envelope containing their ballots. Information on the inner envelope is not visible when the ballot is mailed. It is only seen by the County Clerk's staff, who use this information to verify that the ballot was sent in by a registered voter, and to check the voter's name off as having voted. The inner envelope is then separated from the ballot, so that no record will be kept of how you voted.


Voters are obligated to report voting offenses to the County Clerk or the District Attorney. Voting offenses are: