Taking Registration to the People

(En español) Registering to vote is one of the only hurdles to being able to vote. Every state in the United States except North Dakota requires that citizens who wish to vote be registered.

Traditionally, in New Mexico voters have had to register to vote at the local County Clerk office. In 1993 the National Voter Registration Act was passed. It is also known as the “Motor Voter” law because it forced state governments to provide uniform registration services through drivers’ license registration centers, state agencies offering social services, and mail-in registration.

In January 2016, New Mexico became the 31st state to offer online voter registration. This service is available through the Secretary of State website at www.sos.state.nm.us. In Doña Ana County, we have registered 439 voter online as of mid-February.

Other states have implemented ideas such as same-day registration, and Oregon has implemented a fully automatic voter registration to anyone getting or updating their driver licenses and ID cards. Implementing ideas like these would require changes to state law.

In addition to these efforts, our office has increased its efforts to take voter registration directly to people where they live, work and play.

We are registering people at community events throughout the county. We are at the Mesilla Mercado one Sunday of the month, we are in Corbett Center at New Mexico State University monthly and we attend events like Cowboy Days, National Crime Victims Expo, Dia de los Niños and the Country Music Fest.

Another part of our voter registration outreach efforts involves people from the community. Individuals who are not affiliated with our office are allowed to register voters. They must go through a brief training with us on the laws and agree to follow them. Once that training is complete they are certified as Voter Registration Agents and given up to 40 voter registration forms.

We have a community VRA training session scheduled on 03.26.2016, more information in the following article.

Through outreach efforts like these we have already registered 192 voters in 2016 and hope to keep that momentum going. If you are aware of an event or other opportunity to register voters throughout the county, please let us know. We can be reached via email at elections@donaanacounty.org or phone at 575.647.7428.

Voter Registration Agent Training

On March 26, 2016 at 10 am our office will be holding a Voter Registration Agent Training Session in English and Spanish. The training will take place at the Doña Ana County Government building Room 113. If you have any interest in becoming a VRA or are a current VRA and would like a refresher on the policies and procedures please attend this event. Please call our office at 575.647.7428 or email us elections@donaanacounty.org.