This week the Supreme Court heard a petition brought to the court by 27 of the 33 County Clerks to address the issue of the COVID-19 crisis and voting. Essentially, the petition was requesting that the Supreme Court consider allowing the clerks to declare the primary election a Special Election and trigger an all-mail ballot (e.g. where ballots are automatically mailed to every eligible voter). The Clerks were extremely concerned about the safety of voters, poll workers, and their staff, given the need to socially distance. Their fear was that voters may be too afraid to come to polling places and not know to apply for an absentee ballot (which is mailed and easily obtained with a request).

The Court denied this petition to automatically mail out ballots. There is language in the statue where “request” is written in the law to trigger mailed ballots and the court decided this had critical meaning and they could not overturn. However, the court did order the clerk’s to mail an absentee ballot application to every eligible voter. Voters will need to return that application (AKA absentee ballot request) in order to be mailed a June primary ballot starting in early May.

You can apply for an absentee ballot in three ways:

1.) Wait for the application to be mailed to you by the clerk.

2.) Download a paper ballot from nmvote.org

3.) Apply online for an absentee ballot online at nmvote.org