2015 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 1 - Elections
Section 6 Absentee Voting
Section 1-6-14 Handling absentee ballots by absent voter precinct boards.

NM Stat § 1-6-14 (2015) What's This?

1-6-14. Handling absentee ballots by absent voter precinct boards.

A. Before opening an official mailing envelope, the presiding judge and the election judges shall determine that the required information has been completed on the reverse side of the official mailing envelope.

B. If the voter's signature is missing, the presiding judge shall write "Rejected" on the front of the official mailing envelope. The judge or election clerk shall enter the voter's name in the signature rosters or register and shall write the notation "Rejected--Missing Signature" in the "Notations" column of the signature rosters or register. The presiding judge shall place the official mailing envelope unopened in an envelope provided for rejected ballots, seal the envelope and write the voter's name on the front of the envelope and deposit it in the locked ballot box.

C. A lawfully appointed challenger may view the official mailing envelope and may challenge the ballot of any absent voter for the following reasons:

(1) the official mailing envelope has been opened by someone other than the voter prior to being received by the absent voter precinct board;

(2) the official mailing envelope does not contain a signature; or

(3) the person offering to vote is not a voter as provided in the Election Code [Chapter 1 NMSA 1978].

D. If a challenge is upheld by unanimous vote of the presiding judge and the election judges, the official mailing envelope shall not be opened but shall be placed in an envelope provided for challenged ballots. If the reason for the challenge is satisfied by the voter before the conclusion of the county canvass, the official mailing envelope shall be opened and the vote counted. The same procedure shall be followed in canvassing and determining the validity of challenged absentee ballots as with other challenged ballots.

E. If the official mailing envelope has been properly subscribed and the voter has not been challenged:

(1) the judges or election clerks shall enter the absent voter's name and residence address as shown on the official mailing envelope in the signature rosters and shall mark the notation "AB" opposite the voter's name in the "Notations" column of the signature rosters or register; and

(2) only between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. on the five days preceding election day, including Saturday and Sunday, and beginning at 7:00 a.m. on election day, under the personal supervision of the presiding election judge, shall the election judges open the official mailing envelope and the official inner envelope and insert the enclosed ballot into an electronic voting machine to be registered and retained until votes are counted and canvassed following the closing of the polls on election night.

F. It is unlawful for a person to disclose the results of a count and tally or the registration on a voting machine of absentee ballots prior to the closing of the polls.

G. Absentee ballots shall be counted and tallied, where possible, on an electronic voting machine as provided in the Election Code.

H. Absent voter precinct polls shall close in accordance with Section 1-6-23 NMSA 1978, and the results of the election shall be certified as prescribed by the secretary of state.

I. If an absentee ballot does not contain the identification required pursuant to Subsection D of Section 1-6-5 NMSA 1978, it shall be handled as a provisional paper ballot in accordance with the Election Code.

History: 1953 Comp., 3-6-14, enacted by Laws 1971, ch. 317, 11; 1975, ch. 255, 90; 1977, ch. 222, 12; 1977, ch. 269, 8; 1983, ch. 232, 6; 1985, ch. 207, 5; 1987, ch. 249, 21; 1989, ch. 392, 14; 1993, ch. 20, 5; 1999, ch. 267, 16; 2003, ch. 354, 1; 2003, ch. 356, 22; 2005, ch. 270, 51; 2007, ch. 336, 11; 2009, ch. 251, 11; 2011, ch. 137, 45.

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