Bills to increase voter participation pass New Mexico House of Representatives

Two priority bills for Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver that will modernize New Mexico’s election systems, increase voter participation, and save money for the state passed the New Mexico House of Representatives.(Photo: Element5 Digital)

Automatic Voter Registration and Same-Day Registration are priorities for Secretary of State Toulouse Oliver

News Release

Office of New Mexico Secretary of State

Today, two priority bills for Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver that will modernize New Mexico’s election systems, increase voter participation, and save money for the state passed the New Mexico House of Representatives.

House Bill 84, sponsored by Representatives Daymon Ely, Debra Sariñana, Patricia Roybal Caballero, Joy Garratt, and Dayan Hochman-Vigil, passed today 44-22 and would codify New Mexico’s current automatic voter registration system, making it an “opt-out” system where eligible voters have to specifically decline to register to vote or update their registration during their MVD transaction.

House Bill 86, sponsored by Representatives Daymon Ely, Debra Sariñana, Patricia Roybal Caballero, Joy Garratt, and Senator Jeff Steinborn, passed today 44-22 and would allow voters to register and cast a ballot on the same day, eliminating the current 28 day deadline for voters to register prior to an election.

Secretary Toulouse Oliver released the following statements in support of the two bills:

“Automatic voter registration increases voter registration rates while helping to clean up voter rolls and save the state money. House Bill 84 codifies our current automatic voter registration system into law and makes it more convenient for eligible voters to get on the rolls at the MVD and other state agencies so those voters can participate in the next election. I applaud the House for their vote today and look forward to working with the Senate to get this bill on the Governor’s desk.” 

“Same day voter registration is a widely-used and well-tested policy that gives more eligible voters the opportunity to participate in their democracy. Seventeen states already utilize same day registration, including our Western neighbors Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. It’s easier for New Mexicans to fit voting into their busy lives when they can register to vote and cast their ballot on the same day. No eligible New Mexico voter should be denied the opportunity to vote simply because they didn’t register a month in advance of an election. Now, thanks to the passage of House Bill 86 today, New Mexicans are one step closer to the convenience of same day voter registration.”  

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