New Mexico lawmakers trim slate of electoral reforms

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico lawmakers have trimmed down a slate of bills designed to open up elections to greater participation by independent voters and candidates.

A proposed was withdrawn Thursday for a constitutional amendment to create a “top-two” primary system where all candidates compete on one ballot with a two-person general election runoff, regardless of party affiliations.

Members of a legislative committee overseeing elections declined to advance that measure. They instead endorsed a bill to reduce signature petition requirements for independent candidates that critics say are onerous and discourage competitive elections.

The committee voiced support – but put on hold temporarily – a bill allowing unaffiliated voters to participate in primary elections for one major party of their choice. Sponsors of the bill are crafting minor amendments.

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