House Passes Historic New Mexico Voting Rights Act, Bill Now Heads To Senate


The New Mexico Voting Rights Act, a robust package of voting accessibility and election security measures, passed the House of Representatives tonight with a vote of 46-21. 

House Bill 4 is sponsored by Speaker of the House Javier Martínez (D-Albuquerque), House Majority Floor Leader Gail Chasey (D-Albuquerque), Senator Katy Duhigg (D-Albuquerque)Representative D. Wonda Johnson (D-Church Rock)Majority Caucus Chair Ray Lara (D-Chamberino), Rep. Derrick Lente (D-Sandia Pueblo), and Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-Albuquerque)

The legislation includes: 

  • Voting protections and improved access for Native American voters 
  • Enhancements to voter registration systems and voter data privacy
  • Restoration of voting rights for formerly-incarcerated individuals
  • Creation of a permanent absentee ballot list, allowing eligible voters to opt-in to automatically receive mail-in ballots 
  • Automatic voter registration when changing address or presenting documents at the MVD or other state agencies
  • Designation of Election Day as a school holiday

“While other states are restricting access, our legislature is removing unnecessary barriers so that all eligible New Mexicans can participate in our elections and be civically engaged,” said Leader Chasey. “Not only does the Voting Rights Act take historic steps to safeguard our democracy, it also makes vital security enhancements in the election process.”

“Our democracy works best when all of our diverse communities can exercise their constitutional right to vote,” said Speaker Martínez. “This historic legislation will ensure that all eligible New Mexicans can make their voices heard and have confidence that our election process is fair and secure.”

“The New Mexico Voting Rights Act addresses historic inequities and provides our Native American communities with the same access to voting resources as the rest of our state,” said Representative Johnson. “The commonsense provisions in this bill are a huge step toward achieving equal representation for all New Mexicans.”

“New Mexico is a large, diverse state, and each of our unique communities deserves fair representation in our local, state, and federal governments,” said Chair Lara. “The Voting Rights Act makes sure that all eligible voters in our state have equal access to the ballot box – especially in our rural communities like the ones I represent.” 

The Voting Rights Act will now move to the Senate for consideration.  

The Roundhouse is open to the public for the 2023 session. Members of the public can also view floor sessions and committee meetings on the New Mexico Legislature’s Webcasts tab, and provide comment via phone or Zoom as directed on the daily schedule