SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – On the first night of the special session, lawmakers are already going head to head over a bill that could change mail-in ballots during the pandemic.
“It does still enhance security in elections, which is important,” said Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-Santa Fe). “It also ensures for people who prefer to vote in person, then it leaves that default in place and it also changes the time frames on the ballot application process and return process and alert the voters when they need to return the ballot by if they want to make sure it gets counted.”
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In the Senate Rules Committee, lawmakers went back and forth over an elections bill. In this bill, it would add that ballots have a tracking bar code to help track any mailed-in ballots, but the most controversial part of the bill would allow county clerks to automatically mail a ballot without the voter requesting one. Lawmakers on both sides cautioned about potential voter fraud.
“The bridge too far for me was the mail ballots,” said Sen. Mark Moores (R-Albuquerque). “I thought the applications would work well, will work as long as voters are educated on it.”
The bill passed but with amendments. Right now, the bill would not allow county clerks to automatically mail ballots, but that could change again before the session is over. County clerks could automatically mail ballot applications instead. The issue now moves to the Senate floor for debate.
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