Our free and open elections are the envy of the world and problems on Election Day are rare. Still, we know that voter intimidation — and other problems — at the polls is a possibility.
While trained poll watchers will be deployed throughout New Mexico on Election Day, everyone should be aware of how to protect your vote and how to access resources if you have problems voting.
Below you’ll find resources you can use — like hotlines staffed with lawyers and election experts — if you or anyone you know encounters problems voting.
Also, there are talking points here that you can use to push back on claims of “rigged” elections and other baseless claims like voter fraud.
Four toll free hotlines will be operated on Election Day 6:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. These hotlines will not only help voters with locating their polls but are also able to answer questions or report problems:
866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) for English
888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682) for Spanish
1-888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683) for Asian voters
1-844-418-1682 for Arab American Voters
Polling locations may also be found at www.vote411.org or contact the County Clerk’s office, or the Secretary of State website:
THINGS TO KNOW
Intimidation consists of inducing or attempting to induce fear in any member of the precinct board, voter, challenger or watcher by use of or threatened use of force, violence, infliction of damage, harm or loss or any form of economic retaliation upon a voter, precinct board member, challenger or watcher for the purpose of impeding or preventing the free exercise of voting or the impartial administration of the election.
All partisan electioneers, including candidates, must stay at least 100 feet from the building where the polling is taking place, and may legally solicit voters if they comply with this rule. If they are violating the 100-foot requirement notify poll officials immediately.
A voter who requested an absentee ballot but never received it may go to his or her polling place on Election Day and vote in lieu of absentee ballot. The voter will be asked to sign an affidavit affirming that s/he did not receive the requested absentee ballot.
A voter who has voted before or newly registered in-person must provide a verbal or written statement of his or her name, registration address, and year of birth. The voter can then cast a REGULAR ballot. No physical ID is necessary.
Only first time voters who registered by mail and didn’t submit ID with the registration application must produce a current physical ID to cast a ballot. The physical ID could include, but is not limited to, a driver’s license, utility bill, bank statement, government check, student or tribal ID, or another government document. The ID does not need to include a current address or be a photo ID.
Too many politicians in both parties never want to hear it when Americans reject their political agenda. So instead of listening to the will of the American people, they blame the system.
Conspiracy theories about rigged elections weaken our democracy by making people think their votes don’t count. But the same people who claim our elections are rigged also refuse to support common sense safeguards, like automatic voter registration, that can strengthen the security of the voting system.
America’s elections are a model for the rest of the world and have been for more than 200 years. Your voice matters – and your vote counts. We have dozens of safeguards, non-partisan poll watchers, and a free and independent press on guard to make sure our elections can never be rigged.
The integrity of our voting system is important for all of us. Which is why it’s so troubling that many politicians cry ‘fraud’ so they can pass restrictive laws that make it harder for certain groups of citizens to vote. Voting is a fundamental right of all eligible Americans; we should not stand in the way of any eligible voter – Democrat, Republican, or Independent – who wants to participate fully in our democracy.
Too many politicians in both parties never want to hear it when Americans reject their political agenda. So instead of listening to the will of the American people, they cry fraud. But those same politicians refuse to support common sense safeguards, like automatic voter registration, that can strengthen the security of the voting system.
The vast majority of Americans will not have problems with registering or voting, either before or on Election Day. But if you do, you are not alone. There are non-partisan groups available to help with any problems you may face. If you have questions about your rights, or need to report a problem, call one of the numbers above.
The Voting Rights Act expressly prohibits intimidation of voters by anyone. That’s why it’s critical to remain alert during this election year, and be aware of misconduct before — or at — the ballot box. The election officials, experts, and poll workers who safeguard our votes have tremendous confidence in the sanctity of our democracy — while working tirelessly to strengthen our system, and making sure every American’s voice is heard on Election Day.