Voters concerned over closure of their polling location

Local Elections

FENCE LAKE, N.M. (KRQE) – People in a small New Mexico town just found out their local polling location will be closed for in-person voting. “They’re trying to suppress our conservative vote,” said Kerri Stumbaugh, a Fence Lake voter. She along with other people from Fence Lake are saying this about a recent county decision.

“There’s a lot of places and things that can go wrong in mail-in voting,” said Jill Andrews, a Fence Lake voter. Voters there received a letter this week, explaining they would not be able to vote in person at their usual polling place.

They say they’ve been in contact with the County Clerk, who told them this decision was made because of a lack of internet access at the community center. “If they had informed us, the community association would have had no problem getting internet installed, or we could have moved it next door to the firehouse where we do have internet access,” said Stumbaugh. The website tells a different story, saying polling locations are being changed because of COVID-19.

According to the Cibola County Clerk’s website, Fence Lake is one of three polling locations making this shift in the county. San Mateo and Seboyeta are the other two. All of the voters can opt-out of receiving a mail-in ballot and vote in person at a different precinct; the problem is the distance.

“We have to drive either to Grants which is about 90 miles or to the Pine Hills, which through the short way is about 25 miles but a half of that is a dirt road. If you go through Ramah, then it’s about 60 miles,” said Kenny Monday, a Fence Lake voter. They say they plan on making the trip to make sure their voice is heard.

KRQE News 13 reached out to both the Cibola County Clerk and the Secretary of State’s Office to find out more about the decision, but we did not hear back.

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