Gov. Lujan Grisham enacts same-day, automated voter registration
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday signed Senate Bill 672, an important good-government measure that will encourage and enhance voter participation in New Mexico by removing antiquated barriers to registration.
New Mexico now joins 17 other states and the District of Columbia in offering same-day registration. States with same-day voter registration see voter turnout increase by an average of 5 percent, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Senate Bill 672 will allow eligible New Mexico residents the option to register to vote through Election Day. Voters will not be permitted to change party affiliation on the day they vote, and voters will be required to provide a physical form of identification to either register or update their registration. The law also provides for an expansion of automated voter registration.
The Secretary of State’s Office estimates New Mexico could see as much as a 30 percent increase in voter registrations because of the new law, based on data from the Motor Vehicle Division.
“This is a victory for democracy,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “We should always actively seek out measures that will facilitate inclusion in our great American experiment. I applaud legislators and advocates who made it a priority this session. The more eligible voters there are in New Mexico, the greater the capacity for the expression of the will of the people, and the greater the likelihood our government aligns with that will.”
“Same-day voter registration and automated voter registration have long been priorities of mine and it’s a game-changer for New Mexico’s voting and elections for them to now become law,” said Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver. “It’s simply easier for New Mexicans to fit voting into their busy lives when they can register and vote on the same day, and now they can. And automated voter registration increases registration rates, helps to keep our voter rolls up to date, and saves the state money. New Mexico has the necessary infrastructure and security protocols to make these election reforms a success and I thank Governor Lujan Grisham for signing this bill today. Anyone who’s concerned about including more eligible voters in our democracy and improving our overall elections should be proud that this bill is now law.”
“This is truly a great day for all of the people of New Mexico,” said co-sponsor Sen. Linda Lopez. “From my colleagues in the legislature to the many, many community members and groups who have advocated for this for years, this is a tremendous achievement for the entire state.”
“No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, you deserve to have a voice and your voice is welcomed,” said co-sponsor Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto. “This legislation ensures that people can more easily use their voice in the civic process.”
“It’s time that we modernize our voter registration process to encourage civic engagement and ensure that all our voices are heard,” said co-sponsor Rep. Linda Trujillo. “This legislation takes a smart approach to make access to the ballot box easier – not harder – so that every eligible New Mexican can participate in our elections. Elections are important for our communities, from electing the president to passing bond investments for our schools, and I’m excited that the governor has signed this critical legislation to promote access to voting.”