New Mexico voting rights bill goes to governor for signature


A voting rights bill in New Mexico that would expand voting rights in the state, including restoring voting rights to felons after they are released from incarceration, will go to Democratic Gov. Signed by Lujan Grisham.

The bill, which Lujan Grisham is expected to sign, is part of a package by the Democratic-controlled legislature to expand voting rights in New Mexico. On Monday, the state legislature passed a separate bill that would make intimidation of election workers a felony.

The bill heading to Lujan Grisham’s desk would allow former felons to vote and register to vote after they get out of prison. Currently, New Mexico allows ex-convicts to vote after serving their sentence, which includes probation or parole.

bill, House Bill 4, heading to Lujan Grisham’s desk will allow New Mexicans to register to vote through automatic voter registration at the Department of Motor Vehicles or other state or local public office designated by the Secretary of State. Voters can also opt-in to the voluntary permanent absentee voter roll, which will mail ballots to voters every time a statewide election is held in their district.

It would also protect access to polling places and prevent other election issues involving voters living in Indian nations, tribes and pueblo lands, making it easier to vote for Native Americans in the state. Additionally, the bill would declare Election Day a school holiday.

“Our democracy, our sacred right to vote is at stake,” said state Sen. Katy Duhigg, a Democrat who sponsored the legislation. said in a statement.

“This bill will bring us closer to giving every eligible New Mexican equal access to the ballot box. Each component of this bill represents common-sense voting protections, ensuring that eligible New Mexicans have constitutional voting rights,” Duhigg said.

State Senate Republicans, all of whom voted against the bill, condemned its passage.

“I am deeply disappointed in the Secretary of State and Democratic lawmakers who passed this legislation to place progressive special interests over the people of New Mexico,” said Greg Baca, the state Senate Republican leader. said in a statement.

“The result is a bill that is opposed by many of our county clerks and every Republican in the Legislature. The only beneficiaries of this legislation are felons and those seeking to compromise the integrity of our elections.”

The New Mexico bill is one of nearly 70 bills being rolled out across the country to restore voting rights to former felons, According to the Democratic Archives. Earlier this month, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed the bill That would restore voting rights to thousands of convicted felons in the state this summer once they leave prison, not after they complete parole. A similar law in Minnesota would allow as many as 55,000 formerly incarcerated felons to vote from that day forward.

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