NM Democrats upset over elimination of straight-party voting

Capitol Report New MexicoOne day after hearing that Secretary of State Dianna Duran has decided to get rid of straight-party voting in the upcoming November elections, the reaction in the Roundhouse was predictable as Democrats opposed the ruling while Republicans approved it.
“A decision like that should be the prerogative of the voters,” Rep. Luciano “Lucky” Varela (D-Santa Fe) said while House Minority Leader Tom Taylor (R-Farmington) said, “I believe it’s a good move.”
In straight-ticket voting, voters simply select “Democrat” or “Republican” and every candidate in the appropriate party receives a vote — from the highest office in the land to the lowest local official.
Since Democrats outnumber Republicans in New Mexico, some say straight-party ballots help Democrats more than the GOP. “That’s probably true,” Republican Taylor said Monday (June 18) although the Associated Press story announcing the move pointed out that New Mexico Democratic and Republican voters tend to vote the straight-party ticket at roughly the same rate (23 percent for Democrats, 18 percent for Republicans in the 2010 elections).
“We disenfranchise people by not allowing a straight-party vote,” Varela said. “And to have the Secretary of State say she has the authority to do that is not right.”
Duran is the first Republican elected Secretary of State in 80 years and a spokesman for Duran said her office will not allow straight-party voting because there is no provision in state law specifically authorizing it. Read More News New Mexico



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