2015 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 3 - Municipalities
Section 9 Absentee Voting
Section 3-9-11 Handling absentee ballots by absent voter precinct boards.

NM Stat § 3-9-11 (2015) What's This?

3-9-11. Handling absentee ballots by absent voter precinct boards.

A. Before opening any official mailing envelope, an election judge shall determine that the required signature has been executed on the reverse side of the official mailing envelope.

B. If the signature is missing, an election judge shall write "rejected" on the front of the official mailing envelope. The election clerks shall write the notation "rejected -- missing signature" in the "notations" column on the absentee voter list. An election judge shall place the official mailing envelope unopened in an envelope provided for rejected ballots, seal the envelope, write the voter's name on the front of the envelope and deposit it in the locked ballot box.

C. Declared challengers certified by the municipal clerk may examine 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 prior to being received by the absent voter precinct board;

(2) the person offering to vote is not a voter as provided in the Municipal Election Code; or

(3) the person offering to vote is not a federal qualified elector authorized to vote in a municipal election.

Upon the challenge of an absentee ballot, an election judge shall generally follow the same procedure as when ballots are challenged when a person offers to vote in person. If a challenged ballot is not to be counted, it shall not be opened and shall be placed in an envelope provided for challenged ballots.

D. If the official mailing envelopes have properly executed signatures and the voters have not been challenged:

(1) an election judge shall open the official mailing envelopes and deposit the ballots in their still sealed official inner envelopes in the locked ballot box; and

(2) the election clerks shall mark the notation "AB" opposite the voter's name in the "notations" column of the absentee voter list.

E. Prior to the closing of the polls, an election judge may remove the absentee ballots from the official inner envelopes and either count and tally the results of absentee balloting by hand or register the results of each absentee ballot on a voting machine the same as if the absent voter had been present and voted in person. It shall be unlawful for any person to disclose the results of such count and tally or such registration on a voting machine of absentee ballots prior to the closing of the polls.

F. The municipal clerk shall, prior to the opening of the polls on election day, notify the absent voter precinct board in writing whether absentee ballots are to be counted and tallied or registered on a voting machine. The procedures shall be such as to ensure the secrecy of the ballot.

G. Absent voter precinct polls shall be closed at 7:00 p.m. on the day of the election by the absent voter precinct board.

History: 1978 Comp., 3-9-11, enacted by Laws 1985, ch. 208, 99; 1995, ch. 200, 10; 2009, ch. 278, 36; 2015, ch. 145, 94.

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