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New Mexico Telegram » Courts, Elections, Featured » NM Dems sue to reinstate straight-ticket party ticket voting

NM Dems sue to reinstate straight-ticket party ticket voting

The Democratic Party of New Mexico announced Thursday afternoon that it filed a lawsuit to reinstate straight-ticket party voting in New Mexico elections.

The state Democratic Party says that Secretary of State Dianna Duran unilaterally decided to take straight-ticket voting off the ballot and did not undergo any studies on the effects of ending straight-ticket voting.

“New Mexico law provides for a straight ticket option with the Party emblem next to it that New Mexico voters can use to simplify the act of casting their ballot,” DPNM Chairman Javier M. Gonzales said in a statement. “The Secretary, for whatever reason, has chosen to ignore the law and the statutes, and it is that decision that is landing her in court.”

The law says that the emblem for political parties must be placed on the ballot. Duran has placed the party emblems next to the names of the presidential candidates. In years past, the emblems have been next to the straight-ticket voting option.

Because of this, the lawsuit alleges, some voters will be confused and only place the vote next to the Presidential candidate and believe they are voting a straight-ticket.

The portion of law in question is Section 1-7-6, specifically these portions:

Section 1-7-6 – Party name and emblem.
1-7-6. Party name and emblem.

A. The chairman of the state central committee of a qualified political party shall file with the secretary of state a certificate setting forth the name selected for the political party and showing a representation of the emblem by which the party is to be represented.

B. The certified party name and emblem shall thereafter be used to designate the ticket of that political party on all ballots.

The lawsuit notes, “the statute is mandatory, not permissive, as it uses the therm ‘shall’ not ‘may’” and that “The statue then requires that emblem shall designate the ticket and nothing else.” Emphasis in the original.

The move comes after ballots had already been printed and after some voters had already cast their ballots in the election; early voting in county clerks’ offices began earlier this week.

According to the Associated Press, the lawsuit does not seek to invalidate any votes that have already been cast.

The change has been known about since June.

Written by

Matthew Reichbach has blogged about New Mexico politics since 2006. Matthew was a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and part of the original hirings at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation. In addition to politics, Matthew is an avid sports fan, especially of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and TV fan.

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2 Responses to "NM Dems sue to reinstate straight-ticket party ticket voting"

  1. Kim says:

    Will someone email Eric Griego and tell him it is time to get behind our congressional candidate. He has had three and a half months to lick his wounds, but he has yet to taken down a webpage that attacks Michelle Lujan Grisham. Local bloggers are using it to discredit the Democratic nominee.

  2. Kim, your off-topic comment to attack Eric Griego is ludicrous. Give it up. Republicans will attack Michelle no matter what Eric does; his statements during the primary election and his and others’ advertising is public record. Democrats and Republicans always use statements made during the primary against their opponents. STOP attacking Eric!! While I agree that the web page should be taken down, your continuing vilification of a fine Democratic public servant is incredibly petty, and it does not serve your candidate to remind voters about the primary election fracas. For the record, Eric told his supporters to support Michelle on election night, and he reaffirmed his endorsement after he returned from vacation in July.