ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The runoff means the vote on a late-term abortion ban will be decided citywide in person instead of through mail-in ballots.
On Wednesday, the state attorney general weighed in.
In response to a city councilor who's been trying to keep the issue off the ballot, the attorney general says an abortion ban is unenforceable and unconstitutional.
A close call in one race on Election Day, means polls will be open Nov. 19 for the city to vote on banning abortions at and after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
“The way City Council set up the election resolution is that, should there be any type of runoff whatsoever, the direct legislation question will be an in-person election,” said Albuquerque City Clerk Amy Bailey.
So, instead of just setting up polling places in District 7 for the runoff, the city will now spend about $600,000 to get those polling places ready to go throughout Albuquerque.
“It is more machines,” Bailey said. “It is more precinct boards. It is more work from my office, but that is what has been called for and that is the work we are doing right now.”
The city is also concerned about the cost of a legal battle should the abortion ban pass.
City Councilor Trudy Jones reached out to Attorney General Gary King to find out if it is legal to ban late-term abortion.
“In Utah, for example, they passed a law limiting abortion past 20 weeks and the courts already found that to be unconstitutional,” King said.
In a letter sent to Councilor Jones, King warns that passing the ban could lead to costly court fights.
He said, within the last few months, federal courts have struck down similar abortion bans in Idaho, Arizona, Arkansas and North Dakota — all because of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
But King stops short of calling the election a waste.
“The city charter calls for people to be able to put these initiatives on the ballot, and I think that that's important but I think that the voters, should they vote on it, should be aware that if it's passed, it will likely lead to litigation for the city,” King said.
Backers of the late-term abortion ban submitted more than 27,000 signatures, more than twice the 12,000-plus they needed to get the proposal on the ballot.
Police responded to dozens of weather-related crashes in only a matter of hours Sunday.
A small plane crashed at about 8 a.m. Sunday morning on the Canyon Rim Trail near N.M. 502 and the entrance of Los Alamos.
Another officer-involved shooting left one man dead Sunday night in Albuquerque, according to APD interim Chief Allen Banks.
Sunday night in Albuquerque and around the world people gathered for candlelight vigils to remember the loss of their children.
Department of Agriculture officials are warning customers to not get burned when buying firewood.
Church groups, parents and teachers met Sunday at the 20th annual Albuquerque Interfaith Convention. State education reform was their central focus.