Let’s face it— it’s been a crazy primary season. Some people armed themselves with hand sanitizer and face masks as they headed to the polls while others made use of their absentee ballots by mailing them or dropping them off at their respective polling places. Together, we adapted to a global pandemic and exercised our right to vote. This year, ballots are taking a little longer than usual to count, but we can already see that real change is here. Election Night Loser: The oil and gas industry.
*This morning (5/14) we were contacted by candidate Adrian Carver to change a portion of this story. Carver pointed out that his offense was civil, not criminal. While we have changed the error, we are once again disappointed in Carver for his double-down attempt to re-criminalize his opponent instead of acknowledging and reflecting on his own hypocritical and racist actions. As a progressive organization, we’ve always taken a lead on calling out racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. Usually, it’s directed at conservative political players.
Earlier this year, Donald Trump announced that New Mexico was going to be a priority target state for his campaign in 2020. It was only a matter of time before we could expect well-connected out-of-state interests to meddle in our elections like they have been doing in other states across the nation. Enter the operatives: True the Vote and the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) are two shady, out-of-state political shops that pride themselves on suppressing votes for conservative gain. And they’re coordinating to suppress the vote here in New Mexico by instituting barriers at every step of the process.
True the Vote funds lawsuits to purge voter rolls and suppress mail-in ballot efforts while PILF acts as the right-wing legal accomplice that, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, often uses false information to justify their lawsuits. And it doesn’t stop there.
Tuesday night was another HUGE night for female candidates, public schools and progressive values up and down New Mexico ballots! Are you confused about ranked-choice races and races that resulted in a run-off? No worries! We’re here to give you the scoop on top races we watched. It’s time for an election rundown!
Sometimes, finding all the voting information you need in one place is hard! Look no further, friends! ProgressNow NM is here for you every step of the way- from early voting and same-day registration to Election Day and voting locations. See below for a one-and-done guide to getting your vote on! Important Dates (Statewide)
October 8- Absentee Ballots MailedOctober 8- November 2- Statewide in-person registration and early voting at County Clerk’s Offices, 8am-5pm.October 19-November 2- Statewide expanded early voting.
Barry Blitt’s New Yorker cover, “Welcome To Congress”, has gone viral and it’s no surprise why- the cover shows Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Ilhan Omar (MN-5), and Sharice Davids (Ho-Chunk Nation) (KS-3) with a crowd of brown people behind them at a door, about to walk into a room full of white men. This is a bittersweet moment for people of color across the country- until the late 1960s, ALL American citizens were not able to vote. The legal and physical battles fought to vote were (and are) hard, bloody, and racist. In New Mexico, we have taken Blitt’s concept to the max- the Roundhouse will see a lot of newcomers, mostly women of color and including the first ever Muslim to serve in the legislature, taking their seat on the House Floor. New Mexico has a long history of racism and sexism, especially during the time New Mexico was vying for statehood.
There were record numbers of New Mexicans voting in this midterm election compared to 2014 and many of the races turned out in the ways that families needed them to- there were 163,347 more voters this midterm than in 2014, with 54% of eligible voters casting their ballots. What’s more, people who are truly representative of New Mexico’s diversity won last night. Women from all different backgrounds ran in record numbers and won: state House races, judge seats, and the governor’s mansion. The state has its first female Land Commissioner, Stephanie Garcia Richard, and is sending one of two of the first Native American women to Congress, Deb Haaland, elected the first openly gay sheriff, Kim Stewart, in state history, and after a grueling recount, Xochitl Torress Small managed to flip the NM’s 2nd District and become the first woman to represent that area in Congress!
The Blue (and pink) Wave in New Mexico
Common sense was on the ballot yesterday. There were House races all over the state we watched closely and last night Progressive candidates were swept into office.
There’s plenty of reasons people use to excuse themselves from not voting. But in case you need a reminder of why every vote, and especially your vote is important, we simply need to look at our state’s national rankings on everything from education to healthcare. That’s right, we are last in everything! In fact, New Mexico was recently ranked 51st in the nation in terms of our level of political engagement.
A highly engaged electorate that participates in the democratic process and holds our elected officials accountable is critical to having a well-functioning democracy.
ProgressNow New Mexico will be looking at some top-level races more in-depth over the next few weeks to bring our perspective to the key races we’re expecting to see in New Mexico this year. New Mexico is in the national spotlight as one of the “most likely to flip” states in terms of our governor’s race. Our series will focus on the offices that New Mexicans can vote for statewide. This is the third piece in our series. The position of Lt. Governor can seem pretty inglorious compared to other statewide positions with specific duties as Secretary of State or Attorney General.