Bureau of Elections
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Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I vote absentee by mail and do I need a reason?
- When does absentee voting by mail and voting early in person begin?
- Will I still have the option to vote Absentee or Early Voting?
No, you do not need a reason to vote absentee; any registered voter may vote absentee. To request an absentee ballot, contact the following offices for the related elections:
Doña Ana County Clerk's Office for statewide, county, special and school district elections -
Dona Ana County Clerk Office
845 N. Motel Blvd.
Las Cruces, N.M. 88007
Las Cruces City Clerk for city elections -
Las Cruces City Clerk
200 N. Church St.
Las Cruces, N.M. 88001
Village of Hatch for village elections -
837 W. Hall St.
Hatch, N.M. 87937
Town of Mesilla for Town elections -
2231 Avenida De Mesilla
Mesilla, N.M. 88046
City of Sunland Park for city elections -
1000 McNutt Rd.
Sunland Park, N.M. 88063
In statewide, county, special and school-district elections, a person may vote by mail beginning on the 28th day before Election Day. The absentee ballot must be received at the County Clerk’s Office either by mail or personal delivery by no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day. The ballot may also be delivered to the polling place in which the voter is registered by 7 p.m. on Election Day. For town, village and city elections, please consult with the appropriate Clerk’s Office.
In statewide, county and special district elections, a person may vote early in person at the Doña Ana County Clerk's Office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, starting on the 28th day preceding the election, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the Saturday before the election (The deadline is 25 days preceding a school-district elections).
In addition, beginning on the third Saturday before a Primary or General Election Day, a person may vote early in person at any one of seven locations from Noon to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the first Saturday through the Saturday immediately preceding Election Day. Early-voting locations will be posted on this website approximately 45 days prior to Election Day.
For city, town and village elections, please consult with the appropriate municipal Clerk’s Office.
Yes, absentee and early voting will be carried out in the same manner as in a traditional election setting.
Voting Convenience Center
- What is "convenient" about VCC's?
- Why Are VCC's a good Plan?
- Under the current Election Day precinct polling place system, each voter must vote at the polling place assigned to the precinct in which the voter is registered. Failing to do this, the voter must vote on a provisional ballot. Under a Voting Convenience Center system, voters do not have the burden of finding their assigned polling place at one of 82 voting locations serving 120 precincts; instead the voter has a menu of 39 available VCC locations across the county, some close to home, others close to school or work. There is no “wrong” location at which to vote.
- Provisional ballots will become almost unnecessary. Provisional ballots have always been problematic regarding candidates running in districts because a voter voting provisionally in the wrong district will not have that vote counted for those candidates. By eliminating traditional Election Day voting precincts, voters will never have any of their votes ruled out because they receive their true ballot containing candidates that actually represent them. Now, every vote they cast will be counted.
- Election day VCC's also reduce the scale and complexity of administering election day to more manageable levels. With only 39 sets of VCC poll workers to assign instead of 120 precinct sets, the county’s Bureau of Elections can take greater care in selecting more experienced and technologically advanced poll workers from a larger pool of applicants, ensuring that VCC’s are fully staffed, with the very best poll workers available. There will also be a reduction in response time to VCC’s by Clerk staff and voting machine techs for trouble shooting.
- VCC's in Practice:
- The Vote Center Model was first implemented in 2003 at Larimer County, Colorado
- Early success of the Colorado VCC model let other jurisdictions to consider it advantages over the tradition model. At least seven states have piloted a VCC concept. In New Mexico currently some counties have moved to the full VCC model or a similar concept.
- In New Mexico, Senate Bill 337, passed by the 2011 Legislature and signed by Governor Martinez, provides County Clerks the option to utilize Voting Convenience Centers in the future elections.
- SB 337 requires each consolidation to consist of no more than 10 regular precincts
The VCC model is about voter choice. Traditional, precinct-specific voting required Election Day voters only at their assigned voting sites. VCC’s provide the option among 39 sites throughout Dona Ana County and choosing the one that is most convenient to their needs and schedule on Election Day.
Registering to Vote
- Who can register to vote?
- When can I register to vote?
- Where do I register to vote?
- Can I register or change my registration by mail?
- Why do you need to know where I live?
- Why do you need my Social Security number?
- Must I register as a member of a political party?
- What is a major political party?
- May I register by using my business address?
- What if I move to a new address?
- What if my name changes?
- How do I change my political-party affiliation?
- Do I need to register for each election?
- How will I know if my voter registration or change has been accepted?
- Can I register to vote at the polls on Election Day?
- What is a "provisional ballot?
- What is a Primary Election and when is it held?
- What is a General Election and when is it held?
- Can I receive assistance if I need it in order to vote?
- How can I find out who is running for office and how the ballot will look?
- How do I become a candidate?
- If I become a candidate, what kinds of reports must I file and with what office?
- Will the voting process be completed in a timely manner?
Anyone who is a United States citizen, is or will be 18 on or before the next Election Day, and has established a permanent residence in New Mexico.
You can register to vote or change your voter registration at any time except from the 28th day preceding an election until the Monday following an election. The County Clerk will still accept the registration during this time, but it cannot be processed until the registration books re-open.
At the Doña Ana County Clerk's Office, 845 North Motel Blvd., Las Cruces. You may also register at any of the following locations:
ANTHONYANTHONY WIC OFFICE
865 N. MAIN
CHILDREN YOUTH & FAMILIES
945 ANTHONY DR.
HUMAN SERVICES DEPT.
CHAPARRALCHAPARRAL WIC OFFICE
HATCHHATCH PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICE
112 W. HALSELL
DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES
LAS CRUCESASNMSU OFFICES
2ND FLOOR CORBETT CENTER
NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
CHILDREN YOUTH & FAMILIES
760 N. MOTEL BLVD. STE. C
(575) 524-6046 (X 119)
COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND
277 E. AMADOR STE.101
COMMUNITY ACTION AGENCY
320 WYATT DR.
DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES
505 S. MAIN STE. 357
DOÑA ANA HEALTH OFFICE
5595 ELKS RD.
EAST MESA PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICE
5220 HOLMAN RD
(575) 382-0641 EXT. (111)
LAS CRUCES HOUSING AUTHORITY
926 SAN PEDRO ST.
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES EAST
2121 SUMMITT COURT
(575) 524-6568 (X180)
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES WEST
655 UTAH AVE.
NEW MEXICO BORDER HEALTH OFFICE
1170 N. SOLANO
NEW MEXICO DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
226 S. ALAMEDA
NEW MEXICO WORKS OFFICE
750 N. MOTEL BLVD
800 N. TELSHOR STE B
3961 E. LOHMAN STE 20
PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICE WEST
1850 COOPER LOOP 1A
THE ABILITY CENTER
715 E. IDAHO BLDG. 3-E
SUN COUNTRY CASE MANAGEMENT
133 WYATT DR.
THOMAS BRANIGAN MEMORIAL LIBRARY
200 E. PICACHO
NEW MEXICO VETERAN’S COMMISSION
2024 E GRIGGS AVE
(575) 524-6135 (X109)
MESILLALA CLINICA DE FAMILIA
ONATE PLAZA STE. 7
SUNLAND PARKSUNLAND PARK PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICE
3807 MCNUTT RD.
DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES
880 MCNUTT RD
WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGEMCAFFEE WIC CLINIC
BLDG. 530 MISSLE RANGE
DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES BLDG. HT 304 MISSILE RANGE
Yes. Call the Doña Ana County Bureau of Elections at (575) 647-7428 and a return-address, postage pre-paid registration form will be sent to you. All you have to do is fill it out and mail it back.
When the Bureau of Elections receives your voter-registration form, a precinct and polling place are assigned to you based on where you live. Your physical address determines the precinct and polling place to which you are assigned.
State law requires us to obtain your Social Security number (NMSA 1978, § 1-5-19). It is used for voter-identification purposes, and to avoid multiple registrations by a single individual. Certificates of voter registration accepted by the County Clerk are public records and open to inspection by the public with the exception of your Social Security number and date of birth (NMSA 1978, § § 1-4-5 and 1-4-12).
No. It is not necessary to register with a political party in order to vote. However, New Mexico is a “closed” primary state, meaning that you must be registered with a major political party (Democrat or Republican) in order to vote in that party’s primary election.
A political party is designated as “major” if its candidates received at least 5 percent of the total number of votes cast in the most recent gubernatorial or presidential race, and whose membership is at least one third of the state's total registered voters. A “minor” political party in one in which none of its candidates received at least 5 percent of the votes cast in the most recent gubernatorial or presidential race.
No. Your precinct and polling place are based on where you live. It is unlawful to use an address for voter-registration purposes that is not your permanent residence. You may, however, use any address (including a post-office box) for a mailing address.
If you have moved or changed your mailing address, you should fill out a new registration form. It is important that you notify the County Clerk’s Office of any change in either your residential or mailing address. If you don't, you may be required to cast a provisional ballot on Election Day, as discussed below.
If your name changes by marriage or other legal process, you must fill out a new registration form.
You simply fill out a new registration form. Registered voters may change their party affiliation at any time up to 5 p.m.on the 28th day preceding an election.
No. Your voter registration is permanent, unless you don’t vote for four (4) years and/or if you fail to return a voter notice from the Bureau of Elections. Your registration will automatically be cancelled if the County Clerk’s office is notified that you have moved from the county, been convicted of a felony or been declared mentally incompetent.
A voter-information card will be mailed to you. This card will include information identifying your polling place, and the districts in which you reside and can vote for (Congress, State Legislature, School Board, etc.).
Yes and no. You may register at the polls, but you will not be eligible to vote that day, and your registration will not be filed until the Monday following the election. To qualify to vote, you must be registered at least 28 days prior to Election Day.
A provisional ballot is a way of ensuring that every eligible voter has a chance to cast a ballot.
When a voter goes to vote in a precinct in which he or she is not registered, there is no record in that precinct as to where the voter resides or even if s/he is registered. As a result, the voter is given the option to locate the correct polling location and go there, or fill out a provisional ballot. The ballot is then sealed in an envelope and turned over to a poll worker. Shortly after Election Day, the Canvassing Board appointed by the Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners opens the envelope and searches the voter-registration rolls to determine whether the voter is registered, eligible to vote and did NOT cast a vote at his/her polling place. If so, the ballot is accepted and the votes that the voter is qualified to cast are counted.
Provisional ballots should be avoided, whenever possible. When a voter votes outside of the precinct in which s/he is registered, that precinct may have candidates on the ballot for whom the voter is not entitled to vote. For instance, that precinct may have a different State Senator or County Commissioner than the one who actually represents the voter’s home address. In that situation, votes cast for such a candidate will not be counted. Likewise, the voter may miss the opportunity to vote for the candidates who actually represent him/her in a local race.
A Primary Election is held by each major political party for the purpose allowing registered party voters to select the candidates who will represent their party in the General Election. A voter registered in one party may not vote for candidates in another party.
The Primary Election is held on the first Tuesday in June in each even-numbered year. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
A General Election is held to determine which candidates from all parties, including write-in candidates, will be elected to serve in the office for which they are running. In the General Election, you can vote for any candidate, regardless of your political party or unaffiliated registration.
The election is held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in each even-numbered year.
Yes, assistance is available to any voter who is blind, physically disabled, unable to read or write, or who requires assistance in operating the voting machine. The voter must tell the poll worker in advance that assistance is required, and the voter will then be accompanied to the ballot booth by a person of the voter’s choice EXCEPT the voter’s employer or agent, an officer or agent of the voter’s labor union, or a candidate whose name appears upon the ballot.
Sample ballots are available at the Doña Ana County Clerk's Office in advance of each election and at the polls on Election Day. The sample ballot will look the same as the ballot on the voting machine.
For municipal or school election, contact the appropriate city, town or village clerk for sample ballots.
The requirements for each office are different. Please contact the appropriate county, city, town or village clerk for specific information, and to determine which services they may make available to candidates, i.e., voter registration lists, etc.
If a voter is interested in running for office in a partisan election (as a Democrat, Republican, minority party, independent or write-in candidate), it is important that the voter’s registration is correct in January of the even-numbered election year when the Governor issues the Proclamation of Election.
Candidates are required to file various campaign reports, primarily detailing receipts and expenditures. This is done on-line at the Secretary of State’s website. Click on the Candidate Information Page for instructions and forms. You will need Adobe Acrobat to view and print documents.
Yes. Because of a study recently completed analysis estimated that 90% of Election Day voters will wait in line less than 15 minutes, about the same or less time than traditional precinct based voting.
Polling Locations & District Maps
- Why do I vote at different places in different elections?
- Why do I vote somewhere else when there is a polling place closer to my house?
- What changes can I expect at the “polling site on Election Day?
Primary and General Elections are held in all precincts and polling places in the county. To save money, however, precincts can be consolidated for localized elections. When consolidation occurs, several precincts are designated to vote at a single polling location. Thus, the voter may vote at one location in the General and Primary Elections but at another location in a county, municipal, special or school-district election.
By law, precinct boundary lines must be drawn using physical boundaries like streets, arroyos, power lines, etc. If a voter lives on one side of a precinct boundary line, the voter is not entitled to vote in the adjoining precinct, even if the adjoining precinct's polling place is closer to the voter’s home.
Voting at a VCC will be conducted in nearly the same fashion as traditional voting with the exceptions that voters will obtain their ballot on demand (BOD). When voters provide the Poll worker with the required identification, the clerk will search for the voter record on a secure, networked system to verify eligibility. A paper ballot is printed conforming to the registration model. The secured network system operates on a dedicated server and updates real-time which enhances efficiency.
Become a Poll Worker
- How do I become a poll worker?
Contact the Doña Ana County Bureau of Elections at (575) 647-7428. You must be a registered voter, although party affiliation is not a factor. Presiding judges receive $150 for working on Election Day, and $25 for picking up precinct voting supplies on the Monday before Election Day. Judges and clerks receive $125 for their services on Election Day.