Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover should be commended for her efforts to make voting more convenient during this time of pandemic. In stark contrast to the noise emanating from Washington, she is acting decisively to protect the integrity of our elections by providing several safe and secure ways to vote without endangering your health.
Stover will be sending applications for absentee ballots to all registered voters in the county starting on Sept. 14, and the online portal to process requests for absentee ballots will be opening on Aug. 31 at www.NMVote.org.
Absentee voting is a safe way to make your voice heard in our election process, but recently fears of late mail deliveries driven by political interference in the operations of our post office may be giving some voters pause. However, there are several good options to ensure your ballot is counted.
Stover announced that her office will place secure drop boxes at every early voting station and polling place on Election Day, so that voters fearful their ballots may not reach the clerk by end of day on Nov. 3 don’t have to use the mail or wait in lines to vote in-person. The drop boxes will be constantly monitored by poll workers. This is the same system used in Colorado and one that was enabled by a new law passed during the recent special session of the Legislature in June.
Citizens must do their part during this election by mailing in their absentee ballots as early as possible, just as the members of our military do when they vote by mail every election, or by voting in-person – socially distant – at one of the 20 early voting centers opening on Oct. 17. Absentee ballots may also be delivered to the county Clerk’s Office or any of the drop boxes during early voting.
New Mexicans should never have to choose between their health and their right to vote. Thank you to the Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office for increasing voting access for voters in the county and for protecting our right to safely vote in the election.