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Secretary Of State: Process For Legislatively-Mandated, One-Time District Realignment For Elected Offices

on July 10, 2019 - 8:24am
Maggie Toulouse Oliver
 
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver announced Tuesday the process for realigning certain elected office districts throughout New Mexico as mandated by the Legislature’s passage of House Bill 407 in 2019.
 
The process will consist of the Secretary of State’s Office aligning all odd- and even-numbered districts so that all odd-numbered districts appear on the presidential election ballot and all even-numbered districts appear on the gubernatorial election ballot. Districts will be renumbered and, where necessary, a drawing of lots will take place to determine the renumbering. Some terms of office will need to be extended and, in those instances, a drawing of lots will determine which officeholder will receive an extended term.
 
“The process we’ve created for realigning districts is simple and fair, and it will affect the smallest possible number of districts and be the least disruptive,” Secretary Toulouse Oliver said.
 
Under the changes to New Mexico’s election code found in House Bill 407, the Secretary of State is required to conduct a one-time renumbering of Public Regulation Commission and Public Education Commission districts, along with magistrate judges and county officers, so that all odd-numbered districts appear on the presidential election ballot and all even-numbered districts appear on the gubernatorial election ballot.
 
Through this process, the Secretary of State is not changing any district boundaries from which candidates are elected. This is simply a process to align all odd- and even-numbered district numbers with the corresponding ballot on which those offices are elected, which makes the administration of elections more efficient and provides for more voter clarity.
 
When renumbering is required, the Secretary of State’s Office will make the fewest amount of changes to current district numbers as possible in order to align with New Mexico’s election code.
 
It will also be necessary to extend the terms of certain offices to either 2022 or 2024 in order to fulfill the alignment mandates in House Bill 407. In those instances a drawing of lots will be used to determine who will receive an extended term.
 
A copy of the letter Secretary Toulouse Oliver sent to governing bodies and office holders throughout the state is attached to this release and provides detailed information about the legislative mandate found in House Bill 407, the process for drawing lots, and a list of all the affected offices.
 
Secretary Toulouse Oliver will hold the drawing of lots and announce the renumbered districts beginning at 10 a.m., Monday, July 22, 2019, in State Capitol Room 322, 491 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501. The drawing is open to the public and will also be webcast on the Secretary of State’s website. A link to the webcast will be released before the drawing and announcement.

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