2015 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 3 - Municipalities
Section 9 Absentee Voting
Section 3-9-13.1 Absentee ballot; conduct of election; when not timely received; emergency procedure for voting and counting.

NM Stat § 3-9-13.1 (2015) What's This?

3-9-13.1. Absentee ballot; conduct of election; when not timely received; emergency procedure for voting and counting.

A. A voter who has submitted an application for an absentee ballot that was accepted by the municipal clerk but who has not received the absentee ballot by mail as of the date of the election may go to the assigned polling place and, after executing an affidavit of nonreceipt of absentee ballot, shall be issued a ballot in lieu of an absentee ballot by the presiding judge, and shall be allowed to mark the ballot.

B. The voter shall place the completed ballot issued in lieu of an absentee ballot in an official inner envelope, substantially in the form prescribed pursuant to Section 3-9-6 NMSA 1978, which shall be sealed by the voter. The official inner envelope shall then be placed by the voter, in the presence of the presiding judge, in an official outer envelope substantially as prescribed for a transmittal envelope or mailing envelope pursuant to Section 3-9-6 NMSA 1978. The presiding judge shall fill in the information on the back of the envelope that identifies the voter by name and signature roster number and contains the printed affidavit that the voter made application for an absentee ballot, which the voter believes to have been accepted by the municipal clerk, that the voter swears an absentee ballot had not been received as of the date of the election and that the voter was issued a ballot in lieu of an absentee ballot, and that the ballot was marked by the voter and submitted to the presiding judge.

C. The presiding judge shall place all ballots issued in lieu of absentee ballots in a special envelope provided for that purpose by the municipal clerk, seal the envelope and return it to the municipal clerk along with the machine tally sheets after the closing of the polls. The sealed envelope shall not be placed in the locked ballot box.

D. The municipal clerk shall, upon receipt of the envelope containing ballots in lieu of absentee ballots, and no later than forty-eight hours after the close of the polls for the election, remove the transmittal envelopes and without removing or opening the inner envelopes, determine:

(1) if the voter did in fact make application for an absentee ballot that was accepted by the municipal clerk;

(2) if an absentee ballot was mailed by the municipal clerk to the voter; and

(3) whether an absentee ballot was received by the municipal clerk from the voter by 7:00 p.m. on election day.

E. If the municipal clerk determines that the ballot in lieu of absentee ballot is valid, that an absentee ballot was mailed to the voter and that no absentee ballot was received from the voter by the municipal clerk, the municipal clerk shall remove the inner envelope without opening it, retain the transmittal envelope with the other election returns and place the inner envelope, unopened, in a secure and locked container to be transmitted to the canvassing board to be tallied and included in the canvass of the election returns for the municipality.

F. If the municipal clerk determines that the ballot in lieu of absentee ballot is not valid because the application for absentee ballot was rejected and no ballot was mailed to the voter, or that a ballot was received from the voter by the municipal clerk not later than 7:00 p.m. on election day, the municipal clerk shall write "rejected invalid ballot" on the front of the transmittal envelope and the transmittal envelope shall not be sent to the canvassing board for counting and tallying. The municipal clerk shall retain the unopened transmittal envelope in a safe and secure manner and shall notify the district attorney in writing of the alleged violation of the Municipal Election Code [Chapter 3, Articles 8 and 9 NMSA 1978]. A copy of the notification to the district attorney shall be sent by first class mail to the voter and to the secretary of state.

G. The municipal clerk shall furnish and shall prescribe the form of the necessary envelopes to be used in accordance with the purposes of this section, and shall take steps to preserve the secrecy of any ballots cast pursuant to this section.

History: Laws 2003, ch. 244, 19; 2009, ch. 278, 38.

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