“It’s a lack of interest. I think people aren’t really involved in their local government anymore and this is the government that rules everything where you live. Your school system, your curriculum, your libraries, your roads, your streets, your water, everything comes through local elections. And to me, this is the most important election that we have,” said Bernalillo County Clerk, Linda Stover.
As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, the county was at just over 13% voter turnout, which is more than 57,000 voters out of 425,000 registered voters. Out of those voters, only 3% of them were election day voters with the rest being early voting and absentee ballots.
According to Stover, each year turnout seems to get consistently lower. She hoped to get at least 15% of the voters on Tuesday.
By Wednesday morning, the county reported more than 82,000 votes, equaling a 19% voter turnout. The last off-year municipal election drew a 23% turnout.
In Albuquerque, four city council seats are on the line. There are also races for the school board and several bond issues for infrastructure, public safety, and quality of life improvements.
“It is very, very much important for us to have our voices heard. I know presidential elections and federal elections have a lot of popularity, but the reality is these local elections are the ones that have the most direct impact on us,” said Brian Gutierrez, a voter in Bernalillo County.
There are 72 election-day voting centers open on Tuesday in Bernalillo County. The polls will be open until 7 p.m. If voters are in line by 7 p.m., they will still be allowed to cast their vote.