ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Election Day is four days away but what happens if you’re in quarantine and can’t cast your ballot? At this point, it’s too late to request an absentee ballot, so for people who’ve contracted COVID-19 and have to stay home, there’s still a way they can vote.
“She came down with symptoms and had to go to the hospital,” said Mario Madrid. Madrid’s sister was planning on going to the polls to vote in-person in Santa Fe County, but recently, she tested positive for COVID-19.
“And she was being transported from a Santa Fe hospital to an Albuquerque hospital,” said Madrid. After getting released from the hospital, she still had to quarantine in her home which means she can’t go to the polls anymore and it’s too late to request an absentee ballot. But for people like her, there is a backup plan.
“We have something in New Mexico called an Emergency Voting Affidavit and this is definitely applicable for people during this COVID crisis,” said a spokesperson for the Secretary of State Alex Curtas.
People can download this affidavit from the Secretary of State’s website, which requires the voter and their healthcare provider to sign off on saying they’re too sick to go to the polls.
“At that point a provisional ballot will be issued to that voter who is too sick to come to the polls, it would be taken back to the voter by that caretaker or healthcare or healthcare provider,” said Curtas.
In New Mexico’s election code, the voter’s caretaker or an immediate family member would have to be the one to drop off that ballot. For people like Madrid’s sister, they’re glad she can still vote.
“It’s a relief they already have something in place,” said Madrid.
In order for that provisional ballot to be counted, it has to be returned to their County Clerk’s Office no later than 7 p.m. on Election day. KRQE News 13 asked the Secretary of State’s office how many people have requested these emergency ballots but they did not have the exact number.
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