SANTA FE ― Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver went in front of the New Mexico Legislature’s Courts, Corrections, and Justice Interim Committee Thursday to outline her Office’s legislative priorities ahead of the 2019 New Mexico Legislative Session.
Sec. Toulouse Oliver used the opportunity before the bi-partisan committee to discuss the funding her office needs for operations and election-related expenses and to advocate on behalf of issues that improve voter access and are essential for election security.
“In the coming session, I’ll be advocating for legislation that increases voter participation, creates more transparency in our state’s campaign finance system, and fully funds my Office in the next fiscal year,” Sec. Toulouse Oliver said. “New Mexico is already a leader in how we make voting convenient, accessible, and secure, but there is always room to grow and I look forward to working with the Legislature in the coming months to build upon our success.”
Much of Sec. Toulouse Oliver’s presentation focused on ways New Mexico can increase electoral participation, especially among underrepresented and disadvantaged communities. She outlined how New Mexico might transition to an open primary system – a move widely seen as useful for increasing voter turnout – and how she would like to see an automatic voter registration system codified into law by statute.
Committee members asked Sec. Toulouse Oliver a range of questions about preparations for the upcoming 2018 general election, how her Office handles cybersecurity threats, potential changes to our state’s voter registration system, the impact of the Local Election Act, and more.
Importantly, during the discussion about budgeting, Sec. Toulouse Oliver laid out the ways in which the Secretary of State’s Office has been chronically underfunded in past years and detailed how the Legislature can fully fund the Office for FY 2020 so that supplementary and emergency funds are no longer needed.