Voting passes 31,000 through first three days of early voting

By Matthew Reichbach, NM Political Report

Voters continue to head to the polls, with over 31,000 voters casting ballots since the beginning of early voting on Tuesday—including nearly 30,000 who have cast early ballots.

Doña Ana County still has the most overall votes cast, with 3,034, followed by Eddy County at 2,926, Bernalillo County with 2,733 and Chaves County with 2,564. No other county has more than 2,500 votes cast yet.

Eddy County actually had slightly more voters cast ballots in-person than Doña Ana County, 2,908 to 2,901. But 133 voters in Doña Ana County have returned absentee ballots, to just 18 in Eddy County. Bernalillo County has the most returned absentee ballots, with 883. 

Currently, each county only has one early, in-person voting location open, mostly at the county clerk’s office. But early voting locations will expand on Oct. 17. 

Statewide, 44.87 percent of voters who have cast ballots are Democrats, 44.08 percent are Republicans, 10.15 percent are Decline to State (or voters who are not registered to a political party) and 0.9 percent are either Libertarians or members of minor parties. 

And voters have begun to receive their absentee ballots, which county clerks were able to send out to those who requested them on Oct. 6. Voters can still request absentee ballots until Oct. 20, and the state encourages voters to send absentee ballots back as early as possible to help clerks avoid a backlog of absentee ballots on Election Day.

A total of 344,426 voters have requested absentee ballots. Of those, 62.26 percent are Democrats, 21.26 percent are Republicans, 0.67 percent are Libertarians and 15.81 percent are Decline to State or minor parties.

While NM Political Report doesn’t have data for all days in 2016, the 31,444 votes represents 37.2 percent of ballots cast by the start of expanded early voting that year (which landed on Oct. 22). 

In 2016, 804,073 voters cast ballots in the election either early in-person, absentee or on Election Day, while 786,522 voters cast ballots in 2012 and a record 833,365 voters cast ballots in 2008.

From the NM Political Report, 10/9/20