New Mexico court blocks straight-ticket option

New Mexico
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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The Latest on New Mexico’s straight-party voting option (all times local):
    
4:15 p.m.
    
The New Mexico Supreme Court is blocking a ballot option that would have allowed voters to select candidates from one particular party in all races by marking a single box.
    
The court made its decision Wednesday after listening to oral arguments about a plan from the state’s top elections regulator to reinstate straight-ticket voting in the November general election.
    
The court found that Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver did not have authority to impose such a change.
    
Critics of the practice say it primarily harms independent, minor-party and Republican candidates in a state dominated by registered Democrats.
    
They argued in court that state law doesn’t clearly say whether authority to design ballot forms extends to substantive decisions about straight-party voting, and that Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver should have consulted the public through the rulemaking process.
    

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