2015 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 1 - Elections
Section 6 Absentee Voting
Section 1-6-5 Processing application; issuance of ballot.

NM Stat § 1-6-5 (2015) What's This?

1-6-5. Processing application; issuance of ballot.

A. The county clerk shall mark each completed absentee ballot application with the date and time of receipt in the clerk's office and enter the required information in the absentee ballot register. The county clerk shall then determine if the applicant is a voter, and if the voter is a uniformed-service voter or an overseas voter. If the applicant is a uniformed-service voter or overseas voter, the application shall be processed pursuant to the Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act [1-6B-1 through 1-6B-17 NMSA 1978].

B. If the applicant does not have a valid certificate of registration on file in the county, an absentee ballot shall not be issued and the county clerk shall mark the application "rejected" and file the application in a separate file from those accepted.

C. The county clerk shall notify in writing each applicant of the fact of acceptance or rejection of the application and, if rejected, shall explain why the application was rejected.

D. If the applicant has on file with the county a valid certificate of registration that indicates that the applicant is a voter who is a new registrant and who registered by mail without submitting the required voter identification, the county clerk shall notify the voter that the voter must submit with the absentee ballot the required physical form of identification. The county clerk shall note on the absentee ballot register and signature roster that the applicant's absentee ballot must be returned with the required identification.

E. If the applicant has on file with the county a valid certificate of registration, the county clerk shall mark the application "accepted" and, beginning twenty-eight days before the election, deliver an absentee ballot to the voter in the county clerk's office or mail to the applicant an absentee ballot and the required envelopes for use in returning the ballot. An absent voter shall not be permitted to change party affiliation during those periods when change of party affiliation is prohibited by the Election Code. Upon delivery of an absentee ballot to a voter in the county clerk's office or mailing of an absentee ballot to an applicant who is a voter, an appropriate designation shall be made on the signature line of the signature roster next to the name of the voter who has been provided or mailed an absentee ballot.

F. Absentee ballots may be marked in person at the county clerk's office during the regular hours and days of business beginning on the twenty-eighth day preceding the election and from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on the Saturday immediately prior to the date of the election. The act of marking the absentee ballot in the office of the county clerk shall be a convenience to the voter in the delivery of the absentee ballot and does not make the office of the county clerk a polling place subject to the requirements of a polling place in the Election Code. If the county clerk establishes an additional alternate voting location near the clerk's office, absentee ballots may be marked in person at that location during the regular hours and days of business beginning on the twenty-eighth day preceding the election and during the hours for voting at alternate voting locations commencing on the third Saturday prior to the election through the Saturday immediately prior to the election. The additional alternate voting location shall be operated by the county clerk and the county clerk's staff.

G. When marking an absentee ballot in person at the county clerk's office, the voter shall provide the required voter identification to the county clerk or the clerk's authorized representative. If the voter does not provide the required voter identification, the voter shall be allowed to vote on a provisional ballot. If the voter provides the required voter identification, the voter, after subscribing an application for an absentee ballot, shall be allowed to vote by inserting the ballot into an optical scan tabulator certified for in-person absentee voting at the county clerk's office. The county clerk or the clerk's authorized representative shall make an appropriate designation indicating that the voter has voted absentee. In marking the absentee ballot, the voter may be assisted pursuant to the provisions of Section 1-12-15 NMSA 1978.

H. Absentee ballots shall be sent to applicants not later than on the Friday immediately prior to the date of the election.

I. An absentee ballot shall not be delivered or mailed by the county clerk to any person other than the applicant for such ballot.

J. The secretary of state and each county clerk shall make reasonable efforts to publicize and inform voters of the times and locations for absentee voting; provided, however, that notice is provided at least ten days before early voting begins.

K. The secretary of state shall establish procedures for the submittal, when required by federal law, of required voter identification with mailed-in absentee ballots.

L. It is unlawful to electioneer in the county clerk's office or in any alternate voting location.

History: 1953 Comp., 3-6-5, enacted by Laws 1969, ch. 240, 131; 1971, ch. 317, 7; 1975, ch. 255, 87; 1977, ch. 269, 4; 1979, ch. 378, 3; 1983, ch. 232, 1; 1987, ch. 327, 10; 1989, ch. 392, 12; 1993, ch. 314, 43; 1993, ch. 316, 43; 1999, ch. 267, 8; 2001, ch. 49, 1; 2001, ch. 58, 1; 2003, ch. 355, 4; 2003, ch. 356, 19; 2003, ch. 357, 2; 2005, ch. 270, 43; 2007, ch. 336, 9; 2009, ch. 251, 5; 2011, ch. 137, 40; 2015, ch. 145, 44.

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