Campaign flyer about absentee voting raises questions

Local Elections

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Some New Mexico voters were confused by campaign mail sent from the state Republican Party this week. The flyer encourages people to request their absentee ballot like President Trump, who’s been outspoken against mail-in voting.

“I think it’s the height of hypocrisy,” said Bob Russo, a registered independent from Taos. Russo says he was confused when he got this flyer in the mail. It says, “Join President Trump and vote by absentee ballot.” Especially because Russo says the President has been discouraging mail-in voting.

Chairman of the Republican Party of New Mexico, Steve Pearce says there’s a big difference between absentee voting and mail-in voting. “Absentee ballots by contrast is you have to request them, and it’s a felony if you request one of those for someone else, so there’s some cross checks on it,” said Pearce.

Pearce says if New Mexico adopted the vote by mail system, everyone on the voter roll would receive a mail-in ballot. He believes that would open the door to fraud. “There’s no cross-check to see if the person who is voting, is the person who’s supposed to be voting,” said Pearce.

The Democratic Party of New Mexico claims the flyers prove the Republican Party is trying to keep people from voting. “When it’s their voters they’re totally in favor of people requesting absentee ballots, and getting their vote in however possible,” said Miranda Van Dijk, with the Democratic Party of New Mexico.

Pearce says that’s not the case and they just want to make sure everyone’s vote is counted. “We at the party we’re recommending that if your county clerk has implemented safety precautions, then we recommend you vote in person,” said Pearce. New Mexico voters have until October 20 to request an absentee ballot.

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