Voting and Election Integrity

New Posting – Analysis of Bonds and Issues on November Ballot provided by the NM Business Coalition.  Please read – very important!

Ballot Questions

This election, there are three resolutions from the City of Albuquerque up for vote, including the controversial Democracy Dollars initiative; a mill levy tax from the Valencia Soil & Water Conservation District; and some questions regarding public school funding. All the ballot questions involve tax rates, but only the Valencia Soil & Water mill levy will raise taxes if passed.

NOTE:  There has been a history in our state of fraud, waste and abuse in government and the only way to stop it is to stop the flow of taxpayer money to fund it. We understand that bond issues provide for improvement of facilities and often provide jobs; however, we stand firmly against further expansion of underused and unused libraries and educational facilities in times of declining student enrollment. NMBC is not against using tax dollars for maintenance, repairs and upkeep of facilities and schools.  However, NMBC encourages voters to be cautious of language that allows more money to be spent to, “… plan, design, develop, and acquire property…” which leads to more and more land being bought and buildings being built that we don’t need.

If you’ve also seen the Sandoval County ballot questions and recognize some of the questions here from there, it is because some of these school districts fall within both counties, so the questions make an appearance on some ballots in both counties.

City of Albuquerque

R-160: Transportation Tax

Shall the City of Albuquerque renew a 0.25% (one-quarter of one percent) gross receipts tax which shall be dedicated specifically and only for the following uses:

  • not less than 57% for road infrastructure improvements, including Americans with Disabilities Act improvements,
  • 5% for trails and bikeways,
  • 38% for transit?

This is a renewal of an existing tax. If passed the tax rate will not increase; if it fails the tax rate would decrease when the original tax sunsets in June 2020.  NOTE: There is no sunset (end date) on this ‘continuation’ tax like there was on the previous tax.  That means if approved, this tax will go on forever.

R-165: Open and Ethical Elections Code Update Proposition (Labled Proposition 1 and Proposition 2 on the ballot.)

Proposition 1: Shall the City of Albuquerque adopt the following amendments to update the language of the Open and Ethical Elections Code, which provides for public financing of City candidates:

  • clarify the use of in-kind contributions (good or service other than money, having monetary value not to exceed more than $2,500),
  • increase how much seed money a candidate can collect from $1.00 per registered City voter to $1.75 per registered City voter,
  • provide definitions for “election-cycle” and “candidate,”
  • require candidates to follow public financing contribution limits for one year before asking for public funds,
  • increase funds for publicly financed mayoral candidates to $0.60 from $0.30 per registered City voter and set a minimum distribution of $13,200 for council candidates in districts with fewer than 40,000 registered voters,
  • enforce City Clerk’s administrative rules,
  • and allow the City Council to amend the Code by ordinance with a vote of a majority plus two of the entire membership of the Council?

NOTE:  Supporters of the above proposition point out that passing it will not increase the current tax rate that is used to fund candidates who qualify.  However, the analysis that NMBC and others have done indicates the increased amounts paid to candidates if this proposition passes will not be sustainable under the current tax rate.  An increase in taxes will be required at some point if this passes.

NOTE:  The following Democracy Dollars proposition, has faced significant controversy.  NMBC strongly objects to the ambiguous wording found in the proposition about who is eligible for the Democracy Dollars and we express concern that the current fund allocated to pay for the measure will not be sufficient without a tax raise.  The NMBC analysis of Democracy $ is also posted on our web page entitled “Democracy Dollars”.   Read more about why voters should beware of these propositions HERE.

Proposition 2: Shall the City of Albuquerque adopt the following amendments to update the language of the Open and Ethical Elections Code, which provides for public financing of City candidates:

  • provide eligible city residents (this is the ambiguous wording we are concerned about; “eligible” is never explicitly defined) with Democracy Dollars to contribute to their choice of qualified candidates, which the candidates could redeem with the City Clerk, up to a limit, for funds to spend in support of their campaigns, as directed by the City Council;
  • and increase the funds for publicly financed mayoral candidates to $1.75 from $1.00 per registered City voter?

R-180: General Obligation Bonds Questions

These do NOT increase the City’s current tax rate for General Obligation debt service based on the City’s projected assessed value.

Public safety bonds question: Shall the City of Albuquerque issue $8,590,000 of its general obligation bonds to plan, design, develop, study, construct, and otherwise improve, and to acquire land, buildings, property, vehicles, apparatuses, and equipment for police and fire department facilities?

Community enhancement bonds question:  Shall the City of Albuquerque issue $21,705,000 of its general obligation bonds to plan, design, develop, construct, and otherwise improve, and to acquire property for city-owned community centers including those for families, youth, senior citizens, the homeless, and for other community enhancement projects? NOTE: This is a land acquisition/construction question.

Parks and recreation bonds question: Shall the City of Albuquerque issue $16,830,000 of its general obligation bonds to map, plan, design, develop, and otherwise improve, and to acquire property, vehicles, and equipment for park and recreation facilities, including public parks and facilities within those parks, other recreation facilities, open space, medians, bikeways, bosque lands, and trails?  NOTE: This is a land acquisition/construction question.

Public facilities bonds question: Shall the City of Albuquerque issue $10,420,000 of its general obligation bonds to modernize, make energy- and/or water-efficient, upgrade, equip, and otherwise improve, and to acquire property, vehicles, and equipment for public buildings, facilities, and systems?  NOTE: This is a land acquisition/construction question.

Library bonds question: Shall the City of Albuquerque issue $8,765,000 of its general obligation bonds to acquire property, study, plan, design, and otherwise improve, and to acquire books, media, and equipment for public libraries?  NOTE: This is a land acquisition/construction question.

Street bonds question: Shall the City of Albuquerque issue $32,930,000 of its general obligation bonds to plan, design, develop, construct, and otherwise improve, and to acquire property and equipment for municipal streets and roads, interstate roadways and interchanges, medians, trails, bikeways, walkways, sidewalks, railroad crossings, and bridges?  NOTE: This is a land acquisition/construction question.

Public transportation bonds question: Shall the City of Albuquerque issue $3,130,000 of its general obligation bonds to plan, design, develop, construct, and otherwise improve, and to acquire property, vehicles, and equipment for public transportation facilities?  NOTE: This is a land acquisition/construction question.

Storm sewer system bonds question: Shall the City of Albuquerque issue $11,210,000 of its general obligation bonds to plan, design, develop, construct, and otherwise improve, and to acquire property and equipment for the storm sewer system?  NOTE: This is a land acquisition/construction question.

Cultural facilities bonds question: Shall the City of Albuquerque issue $1,790,000 of its general obligation bonds to study, plan, design, develop, and otherwise improve, and to acquire artifacts, exhibits, furnishings, and equipment for City-owned museums and cultural facilities?

Affordable housing bonds question: Shall the City of Albuquerque issue $5,050,000 of its general obligation bonds in support of the Workforce Housing Act to provide resources for the construction and rehabilitation of high-quality, permanently affordable housing for low- to moderate-income working families, including affordable senior rental?

Metropolitan redevelopment bonds question: Shall the City of Albuquerque issue $8,080,000 of its general obligation bonds to plan, design, study, construct, and otherwise improve non-right-of-way and right-of-way land, property, facilities, or infrastructure owned by the City of Albuquerque for Metropolitan Redevelopment Projects within adopted Metropolitan Redevelopment Areas in order to implement the objectives of the New Mexico Metropolitan Redevelopment Code?

Albuquerque Municipal School District No. 12 (APS)

APS spends $2,467 per student on education, whereas RRPS only spends $1,061 per student.

APS Capital Improvements Tax

Shall APS continue to impose a property tax of $2.00 per each $1,000 of net taxable value of property within the District for the property tax years 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024 for the purpose of:

  • erecting, remodeling, furnishing, and equipping school buildings;
  • purchasing or improving school ground;
  • maintenance of school buildings or school grounds;
  • purchasing and installing education technology improvements?

APS General Obligation Bond

Shall APS, in both Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties, be authorized to issue up to $100,000,000 of general obligation bonds for the purpose of erecting, remodeling, equipping, and furnishing school buildings; purchasing or improving school grounds; purchasing computer software and hardware for student use in public schools; providing matching funds for capital outlay projects funded pursuant to the Public School Capital Outlay Act; or any combination of these purposes?

  • APS Montgomery Complex
  • Montgomery Complex solar array
  • Alice & Bruce King Education Complex
  • APS Montgomery Complex
  • Montgomery Complex solar array
  • Alice & Bruce King Education Complex
  • APS Montgomery Complex
  • Montgomery Complex solar array
  • Alice & Bruce King Education Complex

This is what APS does with tax dollars instead of fixing heating/air conditioning, drinking water pipes and leaky roofs.

APS has owned these buildings for many years and they still sit primarily vacant. They’re not used for administration because APS has built other facilities, like the ‘Montgomery Complex.’ They’re also not rented to create revenue for the district.

These funds are primarily designated for maintenance and the purchasing of equipment, but with the language “erecting…school buildings” written into the propositions, there’s a possibility of more wasteful construction.

Central New Mexico Community College (CNM)

CNM General Obligation Bond

Shall CNM issue its general obligation bonds, in one or more series and in an amount not to exceed $84,000,000, for the purpose of any, all, or a combination of:

  • erecting, furnishing, constructing, purchasing, remodeling, and equipping buildings and utility facilities;
  • making other real property improvements;
  • purchasing grounds; and
  • purchasing and installing computer hardware and software?

Albuquerque City Council Candidates

These are the candidates running for Albuquerque City Council positions this election. At a recent public forum, the candidates gave their positions regarding policies such as mandated wages/leavem government oversight of business codes/permits, taxation in general, use of tax-funded incentives, and impact of homelessness and crime to business and the general public. Based on their answers and using our general guidelines found in annual priorities for state elected officials, NMBC gave each candidate a grade from A to F.

District 4

District 8

November 2019 Election Information:

A Consolidated Local Election will take place on Nov. 5, 2019 in Bernalillo County, which includes the City of Albuquerque, Village of Tijeras, Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, as well as other entities.

This election is the result of the Local Election Act, which went into effect on July 1, 2018.

Prior to the Local Election Act, local governments could conduct multiple elections throughout the year, which often created confusion for voters and reduced voter turnout.

The Local Election Act aims to improve efficiency and reduce the costs associated with administering multiple elections. It also aims to provide a more consistent experience for voters and increase voter turnout by eliminating the confusion surrounding when an election takes place, where people can vote, etc.

Background facts:
• The Local Election Act calls for consolidated local elections across New Mexico; uniform procedures for all districts under the authority of the Election Code.

Municipalities that have chosen to participate:
City of Albuquerque – City Councilor (District 2,4, 6 and 8)
Village of Tijeras – Mayor, 2 Councilors                                                                    Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque – Mayor, 2 Trustees (4 year term), 1 Trustee (2 year term-fill vacant position)

School districts, including public school boards and community colleges:

Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) – Board (District 1, 2 and 4), Public School Capital Improvements Tax Question, General Obligation Bond Question
Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) – Board Member (Position 2, 4 and 6),

General Obligation Bond Question

Arroyo flood control districts
Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA) – Director (District 3 and 4)

Water and conservation districts
Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District – Supervisor (Position 1, 2 and 5)
Edgewood Soil and Water Conservation District – Supervisor (Position 1, 2 and 5)
Valencia Soil and Water Conservation District – Board Member (Position 1, 2 and 5)

Special zoning districts
Paradise Hills Special Zoning District – 2 Commission positions
Public improvement districts
Ventana West PID – Board Member (Position 1, 3, 4 and 5)

Important Dates:

October 8 – Absentee Voting Begins
October 8 – Voter Registration Closes*
October 19 – Early Voting Begins
November 5 – Election Day

*Same Day Registration will happen at Clerk’s Office and Early Voting Locations only

Early Voting Locations:

Clerk’s Annex – 1500 Lomas A NW (In-Person Absentee and Early Voting Location)
Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (October 8 — October 18, 2019)
Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (October 19, 2019 – November 2, 2019)

All Other Early Voting Locations: Begins Saturday, October 19, 2019 ends Saturday, November 2, 2019
98th & Central – 120 98th St NW Suite B101 & B102
Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Holly Plaza Shopping Center – 6600 Holly NE Suite B6
Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Alameda West – 10131 Coors Blvd. NW Suite C-02
Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Isleta Elderly Center Building – 79 Tribal Road 40, Isleta, NM
Tuesday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Bernalillo County Visitor Center – 6080 Isleta Blvd. SW Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Los Altos Center – 4200 Wyoming NE Suite B-2
Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Caracol Plaza – 12500 Montgomery NE Suite 101
Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Los Ranchos Villa – 6601 4th St NW Suites E & F
Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Central Mercado – 301 San Pedro Dr. SE Suites B, C, D and E
Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Petroglyph Plaza – 8201 Golf Course Rd NW Suite D1
Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Daskalos Center – 5339 Menaul Blvd NE Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

South Valley Multipurpose Senior Center – 2008 Larrazolo SW
Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Desiderio Community Center – 117 Tribal Rd. 7036 To’Hajiilee
Tuesday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Shoppes at 6001 San Mateo – 6001 San Mateo NE Suite B3
Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Four Hills Shopping Center – 13140 Central Ave SE Suite 1420
Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Tijeras City Hall – 12 Camino Municipal, Tijeras, NM 87059
Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

University of New Mexico – Student Union Building
Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

West Bluff – 5201 Ouray NW Suite D-2
Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m

September 9, 2019

Third Party Registration Agents

Voter Registration closes on Oct. 8, 2019, for the November Local Election. The last classes until Spring 2020 will be in September. The following classes are scheduled:

  • Thursday, Sept. 12 at 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 19 at 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

All classes are held at the Voting Machine Warehouse, 2400 Broadway SE, Building H.

Class is limited to the first 50 RSVPs. Please secure your spot by emailing clerk@bernco.gov or calling (505) 468-1291, Option 6. The trainer reserves the right to refuse entry once class size maximum is reached.

NOTE: If you have attended a VRA training and would like a refresher course, please email clerk@bernco.gov or call (505) 468-1291, Option 6.

Links to obtain Sample ballots for upcoming elections will be posted here.

Absentee Ballot Voting

You may request an absentee ballot in several ways:

You may track your absentee ballot request by going to “My Voter Information” located on the Bernalillo County Clerk’s website at:  https://www.bernco.gov/clerk/my-voter-information.aspx

The tracking information box is located under your personal voting history.  The box looks like this:

Absentee Ballot Information & Tracking Information

Date Application Received by County Clerk:

Application Status:

Status Reason:

Date Ballot Sent to Voter:

Date Ballot Received by County Clerk:

Go to NM Secretary of State web page, “Absentee Voting by Mail or In Person to read more about the specifics of the Absentee Voting process and requirements.  See website page link at:   http://www.sos.state.nm.us/Voter_Information/Absentee_and_Early_Voting.aspx

Also please note that the cost to mail and absentee ballot last year was $1.11.  The cost is expected to rise this year.  It may require multiple Forever Stamps (cost of mailing a 1-oz first class letter is increasing to 50 cents per stamp).  Please check with your local Post Office and the Bernalillo County Clerk’s office to determine the correct amount before you mail your absentee ballot back.  The cost is determined by the weight.  The Bernalillo County Clerk advised that even if the postage is insufficient they have an Election Stamp on the envelope which should require the U.S. Post Office to deliver to the Clerk’s office.  However, to be sure your vote counts, highly recommend putting the correct amount of postage on your ballot envelope.

Voting Schedule (dates will be updated for future elections)

Date:  TBD (to be determined)

 

 

  • Last day to register to vote in the General Election.
  • County clerks will begin sending absentee ballots.
  • In-person voting will be available at each county clerk’s office during normal business hours. In Bernalillo County, in-person voting will be available at the Clerk’s Annex.
Date:  TBD
  • Countywide early voting begins.
Date:  TBD
  • Last day for county clerks to send absentee ballots to voters.
Date:  TBD
  • Last day of countywide early voting.
Date:  TBD

 

  • General Election Day.
  • Last day for voters to return an absentee ballot to their county clerk’s office or an Election Day polling location.

Early Voting Locations

Go Bernalillo County Clerk at:  https://www.bernco.gov/clerk/early-voting-locations.aspx to see list of early voting locations.  Your sample ballot is now available on the Bernalillo County Clerk’s website.

Why is voting important?

Republicans can win in New Mexico but they need money and your support.  We have a great slate of candidates; let’s get out and show them we are with them.  The General Election in November will be here before your know it.

September 12, 2018 – NM Supreme Court blocks straight-party ballots

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Supreme Court on Wednesday blocked Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver from bringing back straight-party voting for the November general election, ruling that the secretary of state does not have the authority to unilaterally make the policy change.

The unanimous decision, which was handed down after more than an hour of deliberations, makes it clear that only the Legislature can restore straight-party voting, which allows voters to vote for a major party’s entire slate of candidates by filling in an oval at the top of the ballot.

“This power is theirs alone, and the Legislature has indicated its intent to thoroughly regulate how ballots appear,” Chief Justice Judith Nakamura said while handing down the decision.

See article in the Albuquerque Journal:  https://www.abqjournal.com/1219902/nm-supreme-court-bars-sos-from-reinstating-straight-party-voting.html

NM Secretary of State

Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver indicates that she would restore straight party voting.  She states nothing in state statutes prohibit this.  Critics state this approach is underhanded and potentially illegal power grab by an elected official who is supposed to referee partisan battles, not lead the charge for the Democrats to obtain one-party control over every elected office in New Mexico.  See (https://www.abqjournal.com/1150042/straight-party-voting-may-return-to-new-mexico.html)

What do you think?  Straight party voting will allow uneducated voters who don’t know their candidates or what they stand for to simply check a box and vote.  Is this the approach to voting we want?    Do you know the candidates and the basis for your voting?

Voter Registrations

Please note that it may be several weeks from the date a voter submits a new voter registration or changes and the date on which it is officially recognized by the Bernalillo County Clerk’s office.   Your voter registration must first be validated, then stamped, and recorded in the voter data base.  If you want to register to vote, DO NOT WAIT until October 9th for the general election to register.  Do this now to assure you are registered to vote in the primary or general election.

Voter Fraud – Is it for Real?

Yes, voter fraud does exist.  The most recent case in New Mexico pertains to two woman indicted for voter fraud.  (see March 13, 2018 Albuquerque Journal article entitled, “Two indicted in Española voter fraud case plead not guilty” at https://www.abqjournal.com/1145506/two-indicted-in-espanola-voter-fraud-case-plead-not-guilty.html).  One lady was indicted for on two counts of falsifying election documents, one count of conspiracy to violate the election code and one count of making false statements in relation to the code.  The other woman was indicted for 10 charges of possession of another person’s absentee ballot, one count of conspiracy to violate the municipal election code and two counts of making false statements in relation to that code.

To see a list of voter fraud cases across the United States, go to Heritage Foundation article entitled, “Voter Fraud Cases from Across the United States” at https://www.heritage.org/voterfraud