ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As voters head to the polls, the state is taking extra measures to make sure every vote is safe and secure. Compared to other states, New Mexico’s big safeguard is grabbing a pen and filling in our votes by hand, no computer needed.
The Secretary of State’s office says paper ballots are able to easily go through count ‘tabulators’ and are not connected to a computer network or the internet, preventing any potential interference. They also make it possible to recount a single race if needed. After your vote is cast, all results go through an extensive audit with multiple groups before any state results are made public.
“There are so many moving parts and these county clerks are dealing with so many things, especially in this election with the turnout that we’re seeing,” said Sec. Maggie Toulouse Oliver, New Mexico’s Secretary of State. “Election night results are always unofficial. It always takes several weeks to count every single vote, make sure everything adds up correctly, audit those results, which is called the canvass of the election, certify them in a public setting.”
However, misinformation can still be spread over the internet pre-voting. The state say they’re taking every step to make sure voters are prepared and educated.
“We’ve been fighting really hard here in the state to beat back really dangerous rumors and misinformation,” said Toulouse Oliver. “We are going to continue doing that work.”
The Secretary of State says there are also laws in place to prevent voter intimidation at the polls. Also, firearms are not allowed inside polling locations. If anyone is seen with a gun near the polls, they will be asked to leave and put their gun away before coming back.
The counting systems also alert the state for any duplicate votes if a registered voter tries to vote more than once. The state is working with non-profit Common Cause which is placing non-partisan poll monitors all over as a part of the Election Protection Coalition.