With the 2020 general election less than two months away, time is running out for New Mexico voters to obtain absentee ballots.
On Aug. 28, New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver announced that voters can apply for absentee ballots through an online portal.
New Mexico is a “no-excuse” absentee ballot state, meaning that any registered voter can obtain an absentee ballot. The deadline to register to vote, either online or by mail, is Oct. 6.
The final day to get an absentee ballot is Oct. 20, and it is suggested that voters mail them back by Oct. 27.
If voters are unable to mail their ballots back in time, they can drop it off at their county clerk’s office or at any polling location in their county.
Any voter who completes an absentee ballot incorrectly will receive a notification as to why their ballot was not accepted and instructions on how to remedy the issue.
Individuals can still vote in person. Early voting locations will be open from Oct. 17 to Oct. 31, and on Election Day, Nov. 3, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
But while in-person voting options are available, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and other state officials are urging New Mexicans to vote using absentee ballots to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Voting by absentee ballot is a safe and secure way to make your voice heard in November while also protecting your health and the health of your community,” Toulouse Oliver said, adding that the state’s election officials “are prepared and are providing a number of ways for voters to cast their ballot.”
Over the past several months, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy — who is facing calls to resign over “obvious financial conflicts of interest” — has been proposing and implementing some questionable changes to the United States Postal Service (USPS).
Many believe that these changes were proposed — with some being enacted — as part of President Donald Trump’s assault on mail-in ballots and the USPS ahead of the presidential election. Trump has made false claims that mail-in voting leads to widespread fraud.
Political analysts and election watchdogs have warned that Trump is trying to hobble the postal service to win the election.
“Trump’s brazen abuse of the post office to try and win an election is a shameful misuse of presidential power,” said Trevor Potter, president of the Campaign Legal Center.
New Mexico has enacted a system to keep voters informed about the status of their absentee ballots.
Voters can confirm if their absentee ballot application was received and accepted by their county clerk on the New Mexico Voter Information Portal.
Spencer Butler is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SpencerButler48