Make a Voting Plan and Follow It

You can best ensure your own participation in the election process by making and following your own individual voting plan. Here’s how:

  • You can verify if you are registered to vote or, if you have not registered to vote, you can register online by going here.
  • Decide whether you will vote absentee by mail or at the ballot box.
  • If you decide to vote absentee and haven’t already received a request for an absentee ballot in the mail (you may receive a request for an absentee ballot in the mail from your county clerk’s office on or before Monday, September 14), you will need to request an absentee ballot. You can request an absentee ballot from the NM Secretary of State’s office here and mail it in or deliver it to your county clerk’s office. IMPORTANT DEADLINES: your request for your absentee ballot must be received on or before Tuesday, October 20th. All absentee ballots must be mailed out to voters by the County Clerk’s office by Wednesday, October 21.
  • Set the date on your calendar that you will either 1) go to the polling place to vote in person or 2) send in your absentee ballot by mail or deposit your envelope containing your ballot in a drop box that will be available at your county clerk’s office or at designated polling places. If you use a datebook or personal calendar or use “Reminders”, “Tasks” or a similar app on your computer or other devices, set the date and time in it as well.
  • VOTE EARLY!!! If you vote by absentee ballot, please return it early so that the county clerk’s office isn’t overburdened with late-delivered ballots to have to count after the election.
  • You can mail in your absentee ballot any time before Tuesday, October 27. NOTE: your ballot must be received by the post office on that date. Don’t make the mistake of depositing it in a mailbox after the time of the last pickup for the day; your vote will not be counted!
  • Early voting in person starts on Tuesday, October 6th, at your county clerk’s office and on Saturday, October 17th, at other locations. Early voting in person ends on Saturday, October 31. You can check for polling locations and hours of operation by visiting the website NMVote.org or by contacting your county clerk’s office. You can go here to find out how to contact your county clerk’s office.
  • Set the date on your calendar that you will either 1) go to the polling place to vote in person or 2) send in your absentee ballot by mail or deposit your envelope containing your ballot in a drop box that will be available at your county clerk’s office or at designated polling places. If you use a datebook or personal calendar or use “Reminders”, “Tasks” or a similar app on your computer or other devices, set the date and time in it as well.
  • VOTE EARLY!!! If you vote by absentee ballot, please return it early so that the county clerk’s office isn’t overburdened with late-delivered ballots to have to count after the election.
  • You can mail in your absentee ballot any time before Tuesday, October 27. NOTE: your ballot must be received by the post office on that date. Don’t make the mistake of depositing it in a mailbox after the time of the last pickup for the day; your vote will not be counted!
  • Early voting in person starts on Tuesday, October 6th, at your county clerk’s office and on Saturday, October 17th, at other locations. Early voting in person ends on Saturday, October 31. You can check for polling locations and hours of operation by visiting the website NMVote.org or by contacting your county clerk’s office. You can go here to find out how to contact your county clerk’s office.

Logistics

  • If you choose to vote in person but don’t have your own transportation, please arrange it in advance and confirm it with the person or service that will transport you to and from the voting location prior to the day and time you chose.
  • If you decide to vote absentee, fill out your ballot making sure to input all the required information correctly and legibly. On the exterior envelope in which you will place your absentee ballot you will be required to provide your signature and the last four digits of your social security number. You must do both.
  • You can put the envelope containing your completed ballot in a mailbox or deliver it to the post office (be sure to note day/time restrictions above). You may also mail it using a private mail service like FedEx or UPS. You can drop it off at your county clerk’s office or deposit into a special drop box available at any polling place during its hours of operation.
  • If you decide to deposit it into a polling place drop box, ask to drop the envelope containing your ballot into the drop box yourself rather than hand it to a poll worker to do that for you. You are entitled to do that. If the drop box is located somewhere at the polling place that has limited access, ask the poll worker to bring the drop box to you so that you can insert the envelope containing your ballot into the drop box yourself.

How to Know if Your Absentee Vote is Received

We in New Mexico can help to ensure that our vote will be counted by voting early and verifying the results prior to the November 3rd election.
We can personally keep track of our mail-in ballots. The bar code on the return envelope for each absentee ballot is individual to each absentee voter, allowing election officials to keep track of the absentee votes received. Early voters should be able to check their absentee ballot status by cotacting their county clerk’s office. For more information about voting and how your vote is protected you can go here.

What to do at the Polling Place if you are Refused a Ballot or if your Ballot is Challenged

If for any reason, including the fact that your name does not appear on the voter rolls or because the address for you shown on a document is different from that shown on the voter rolls, you are not allowed to vote, first try to resolve the issue calmly. If there is at the polling location an poll watcher/challenger (different from a poll monitor), talk with that person to see if he or she can help you. If you are unable to clear up the issue and are ultimately refused to be given a regular ballot, under a new provisional rule you are entitled to demand, fill out and turn in a provisional ballot. You can later follow up and check the status of your provisional ballot after the election here.

Also, due to a recent change in the law, if you are informed by the county clerk’s office that there is a problem with your ballot, you should be notified by the county clerk within 24 hours and you have the right to apply to cure the problem.

How to Help to Ensure Safe and Secure Elections

You can help to make sure that our polling places function properly by applying to be a poll worker. To learn how, go here. You can also fill out a form application with the office of the NM Secretary of State available here.

Some nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations like Common Cause New Mexico (CCNM) have programs to enlist persons to help secure the integrity of our elections by becoming independent poll watchers. If you are interested in volunteering to serve as an independent poll  with CCNM, go here. You can also go to that site to report any suspicious election irregularities. In addition, you can file a complaint with the office of the New Mexico Secretary of State.

Tell Your Friends and Loved Ones

Go the extra mile to make sure that the people you know exercise their right and citizen’s obligation to vote in the 2020 election and share with them the information set forth here with them. It will also be featured on our website and on our Facebook page.

A representative democracy can only work properly if its citizenry is informed and votes! So please, familiarize yourself with the issues and the candidates and make sure you vote early and encourage everyone you know to do the same.