Bernalillo County plans to use mobile polling station in November election

You won’t have to head out to the polls anymore, the polls will come to you.

Bernalillo County is working on a mobile voting RV that will travel around the city during early voting.

“When a voting booth essentially shows up at your door it makes it a lot easier for people to exercise their right to vote,” said Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins 

County Clerk Linda Stover says the goal of this mobile unit is to help older people who may have trouble getting out to vote. However, a political expert says it could actually attract the younger voter and have an impact on elections.

County officials say the mobile voting unit is being built right now for the upcoming election in November. 

“We’ll move it all over the county,” Stover said.

The RV will have 15 voting stations and is ADA accessible. During early voting, it will move to different spots every day. Stover says she wants it to visit senior centers and elderly living facilities.

“Seniors somehow seem to get disenfranchised through no fault of their own,” Stover said. 

Still, political expert Gabriel Sanchez says the mobile unit is more likely to draw a younger crowd. 

“If any one particular group is going to benefit most from just being able to walk outside and see the mobile unit I would say it’s going to be young voters. Voters who are typically aren’t voting at a high rate,” Sanchez said. 

Sanchez also says when voting accessibility increases one party benefits.

“The question always is which party if any will this benefit more. Well, I’ll tell you not just in New Mexico, nationally anytime you see an increase in turnout that tends to favor Democrats,” Sanchez said. 

The county says its goal is to get more people voting, no matter their political stance. 

“It won’t happen all at once people will have to get used to it but it’s going to be a start for us,” Stover said. 

Regardless of age, ability, party registration it’s going to be available to everybody,” Hart-Stebbins said. 

Election officials say the mobile unit will be at two locations in each district during early voting. They say they are still working out the contract and don’t know how much it will cost just yet. 

The county says it should have the voting RV by August.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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