ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Phones at the Albuquerque City Clerk's office are ringing off the hook as the lengthy ballot question banning late-term abortions confuses voters.
Once you see the ballot for yourself, you might be scratching your head, too.
“If you want to read the whole thing you need hours and a magnifying glass,” early voter Bridget Chorley said.
Is it a ballot or an essay?
“Very confusing, unnecessarily so,” Joe Carney said.
That's how voters are describing the late-term abortion issue.
“It is just cluttered and very hard to read and small letters,” Chorley said.
“It was 15-, maybe 10,000 words into it where you found what it was you were supposed to be saying for or against,” Carney said with some exaggeration.
Albuquerque City Clerk Amy Bailey is hearing all about it.
“People have been over the past couple of days calling, voicing concerns,” Bailey said.
Early voting began Wednesday for the initiative that would ban late-term abortions after 20 weeks. Confusion at the polls is starting to set in.
“It seemed like they were trying to hide what it was we were voting for,” Carney said.
The wordy language is filled with arguments and legal terms defining the ordinance.
“It’s a lengthy ballot,” Bailey said. “It’s an entire proposed ordinance that’s on the ballot.”
Voters KRQE News 13 spoke with wanted to know why.
“The City Council determined that the entire ordinance should be on the ballot so citizens understand that it is an entire ordinance that they're being asked to vote for or against,” Bailey said.
Bailey's office made posters to go up at polling sites across the city because the question is so lengthy and the text so small. It’s a blown-up version she says is easier to read.
But if you want to skip the headache all together, Bailey says do your homework.
“If you're in support of the proposed ordinance you vote 'for;' if you're opposed to the ordinance you vote against,'” she said.
A few people told KRQE News 13 they're just frustrated this whole election is even taking place with lingering questions about whether the abortion ban would survive a court fight. It's an extra burden for taxpayers and an unnecessary cost, they said.
Bailey says early voting on the late-term abortion issue has been busier than the mayoral election.
As of Thursday afternoon, more than 3,700 people had hit the polls, and another 3,400 had sent in absentee ballots.
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