Secretary Toulouse Oliver Releases Two Draft Rules On Runoff Elections; Announces Statewide Public Input

Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver

From the Office of the Secretary of State:

All New Mexicans invited to provide public comment, participate in public hearings

SANTA FE – Today, New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver released two draft rules concerning runoff elections and how ballot questions will appear on the ballot, and announced public hearings in three New Mexico cities to gather community input.

The two new rules were mandated by the passage of House Bill 407 during the 2019 New Mexico Legislative Session.

“These rules will give clarity and guidance to important policies that were passed during the last legislative session to increase voter access and provide more effective election administration,” Secretary Toulouse Oliver said. “I encourage every New Mexican to participate in this rulemaking process and to provide their comments and feedback so that we can make these rules work in the best way they possibly can.”

The purpose of the public hearings in Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Las Cruces is to allow members of the public an in-person opportunity to submit data, testimony, and arguments on the proposed rule changes.

The purpose of the two new draft rules is as follows:

Ranked Choice Voting and Top-Two Runoff Election Rule (1.10.14 NMAC) – to create uniform effective procedures to be followed by municipalities who have chosen to have instant runoff elections. This rule defines certain terms related to ranked choice voting and top-two runoff elections. This rule also provides the process for administering instant runoff elections.

Ballot Questions Rule (1.10.16 NMAC) – to give the Secretary of State’s Office the ability to shorten the text of proposed local and state ballot questions that will appear on the ballot without affecting the substance of such questions. This rule provides guidance to election clerks and the Secretary of State’s Office in drafting language for the ballot questions that will appear on the ballot.

The three public hearings Secretary Toulouse Oliver will hold throughout the state on the proposed rules will be held at the following times and places:

First Hearing – Santa Fe

  • When: Monday, July 29 at 9 a.m.
  • Where: State Capitol Room 322 
  • 491 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe

Second Hearing – Albuquerque

  • When: Tuesday, July 30 at 9 a.m.
  • Where: Vincent E. Griego Chambers, Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Government Center
  • 1 Civic Plaza NW, Albuquerque

Third Hearing – Las Cruces

  • When: Wednesday, July 31 at 1 p.m.
  • Where: Doña Ana County Commission Chambers, 1st Floor, Doña Ana County Government Center
  • 845 North Motel Boulevard, Las Cruces

Click here for a copy of the draft runoff rule, and click here for a copy of the draft ballot question rule. All New Mexicans are invited to participate in the public hearings and to provide official comment, and all hearings are open to the media.

The public may also submit official comments on the draft rules by sending them to Dylan Lange, Deputy Elections Director for the Secretary of State’s Office, in following manner:

  • By Mail – Attn: Dylan Lange–Proposed Rule, Office of the New Mexico Secretary of State, 325 Don Gaspar, Santa Fe, NM 87501;
  • By Email – Attn: Dylan Lange–Proposed Rule,; or,
  • By Fax – Attn: Dylan Lange–Proposed Rule, 505.827.8081.

The deadline to submit written comments by mail, email or fax is 5 p.m. Sunday, July 28, 2019. Written comments may also be submitted in person at any of the three public hearings. All written public comment will be posted on the Secretary of State’s website throughout the written comment period.