Clerks’ Affiliate Chair and Los Alamos County Clerk Naomi Maestas
CLERKS’ AFFILIATE NEWS RELEASE
The Clerks’ Affiliate will hold a press conference on Zoom on Tuesday, February 15, 2022, at 10:00 am to urge New Mexico legislators to prioritize and pass the current version of Senate Bill 6, entitled “Election Security and Administration.”
Senate Bill 6 incorporates feedback from clerks from across the state, from rural and urban counties. It includes needed measures that will assist in our ability to continue to serve our communities securely and transparently while supporting voters’ ability to engage with our democratic process.
“Senate Bill 6 represents a collaborative effort on the part of lawmakers and election administrators,” said Naomi Maestas, Chair of the Clerks’ Affiliate and Los Alamos County Clerk. “We urgently ask the legislature to recognize the need for these administrative changes and to support the tradition of great election administration in our state by voting in favor of SB6.”
Among many other things, Senate Bill 6 features:
· Increased Transparency: Adding voting system checks, or randomized precinct audits, for each county after primary and local elections. Although all New Mexico elections are audited during county and state canvasses following each election, the additional voting system checks currently only occurs after general elections and does not necessarily include all counties.
· Added Efficiency: Allowing Clerks’ Offices to resume processing voter registrations the Monday after completing of their county canvass. Currently, Clerks’ Offices cannot resume this critical task until thirty-five days after an election.
· Improved Voter Experience: Aligning absentee deadlines based with United States Postal Service guidance. Clerk’s Offices saw great success with this measure during the 2020 primary and general elections, but these temporary deadlines were not codified into law in 2021. The bill’s alignment provisions creates a timeline that reasonably allows the absentee voter to request, receive and mail back an absentee ballot.
Because the bill could potentially benefit election administration so significantly, twenty-seven of the thirty-three county clerks recently signed a letter of support to send to state lawmakers.
For more information regarding Senate Bill 6, please visit https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/Legislation?Chamber=S&LegType=B&LegNo=6&year=22.