New Mexico Legislature considers move to open primaries

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico lawmakers are introducing a flurry of electoral reform proposals designed to make elections for state offices more competitive by opening primaries to unaffiliated voters and changing requirements for candidates to get on the ballot.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers filed proposals Monday that would upend New Mexico’s closed primary system that excludes independent voters from major party primaries.

One bill would allow unaffiliated voters to participate in primary elections for a major party. The sponsors say younger voters in particular are being shut out of the electoral process because they do not identify with major parties.

A proposed constitutional amendment would list all primary candidates on a one common ballot. The top two finishers would face off in the general election regardless of party affiliation.

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