Multiple High-Priority Bills Pass For Secretary Of State’s Office During Legislative Session

FROM THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE

The 2023 New Mexico legislative session resulted in the successful passage of multiple high-priority bills for the Secretary of State’s Office and election administrators across the state. Taken together, the bills represent the most comprehensive set of pro-voter policies to come out of the legislature in years.

“These bills are big wins for voting access, election security, and election administration in New Mexico,” said Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver following the conclusion of the 2023 legislative session. “I’m grateful to the sponsors of these bills and for all the hard work they did to get them passed this year. I also want to thank all the members of the public and the multiple county clerks from across the state who have shown such strong support. I look forward to Governor Lujan Grisham signing these important pieces of legislation into law.”

Details of the bills are below:

Voting Rights Protections, aka the New Mexico Voting Rights Act (HB4)

Sponsors: Senator Katy Duhigg and Representatives Javier Martinez, Gail Chasey, D. Wonda Johnson, and Raymundo Lara

House Bill 4’s pro-voter provisions bolster the safety and integrity of New Mexico’s elections and include streamlining the voter registration process for formerly incarcerated New Mexicans so they can better reintegrate into civic society; establishing the Native American Voting Rights Act to support tribal election officials; creating a voluntary, permanent vote-by-mail list; implementing automatic voter registration at the motor vehicle department and other state agencies; and other important provisions.

Election Administration Changes (SB180)

Sponsors: Senators Katy Duhigg and Leo Jaramillo and Representative Gail Chasey

Senate Bill 180 is a critical piece of legislation that modernizes election security and administration in New Mexico by making updates to the Election Code. Focused primarily on provisions to aid election administrators in the efficient conduct of elections, the bill provides measures to secure sensitive voter data, increase compensation for election workers, make permanent the Secretary of State’s election security program, update timelines and procedures for mail-in ballots, and allow for electronic nominating petition signatures, among others.

Intimidation of Election Officials (SB43)

Sponsor: Senator Katy Duhigg

Senate Bill 43 is focused on those on the front lines of our democracy—election workers and officials—to ensure they are able to safely and effectively administer our elections without fear of intimidation. The crime of intimidation, a fourth-degree felony, will now include acts against employees and agents of the Secretary of State, County Clerks’ and Municipal Clerks’ offices or election officials themselves.