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Gov. Lujan Grisham signs New Mexico Voting Rights Act into law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Maddy Hayden
Office of the Governor
maddy.hayden1@state.nm.us
March 30, 2023

SANTA FE

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday signed into law the New Mexico Voting Rights Act, continuing this administration’s efforts to strengthen voter rights and protections for every New Mexican.

“Today, New Mexico is leading the nation by example, declaring that we believe, unequivocally, in the fundamental right of every American to choose those who represent them,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “The provisions of this bill related to Native Americans in particular are the first in the nation, making sure that the rights of citizens of those sovereign nations are also protected.”

The bill is sponsored by Speaker of the House Javier Martínez, House Floor Leader Gail Chasey, Rep. D. Wonda Johnson, Rep. Raymundo Lara and Sen. Katy Duhigg.

House Bill 4 includes provisions that:

  • Automatically registers voters at the MVD or other local public office designated by the Secretary of State;
  • Restores the right of previously incarcerated individuals to vote upon their release from custody;
  • Creates a voluntary permanent absentee voter list;
  • Prohibits the transfer or publication of voter data online;
  • Mandates same-day voter registration at all polling places;
  • Mandates at least two monitored secure ballot drop boxes per county; and
  • Enacts the first-in-the-nation Native American Voting Rights Act allowing Indian nations, tribes, and pueblos to amend their request for voting locations and to apply for secured ballot drop boxes and allows electors to use government buildings as their mailing address.

“New Mexico is now a North Star for voting rights in our country,” said Speaker Javier Martinez. “This law means New Mexicans can have confidence that their voices will be heard, our elections will be secure, and our government will be representative of our people in all of their diversity.”

“The New Mexico Voting Rights Act will enact historic and nation-leading protections for Native American voters to ensure equal access to the ballot and will lead to better representation in all levels of our government,” said Rep. D. Wonda Johnson.

“Today’s signing of the New Mexico Voting Rights Act is a huge win for voters. This bill represents years of dedicated work from community members, the bill sponsors, and election administrators from around the state,” said Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver. “Federal voting rights bills are stuck in Congress while voting access is under attack in many states across the nation. But not here in New Mexico. The New Mexico Voting Rights Act balances voter access with maintaining our high levels of election security and I thank Governor Lujan Grisham for signing it into law today.”

The governor on Thursday also signed Senate Bill 180, Election Changes, and Senate Bill 43, Intimidation of Election Officials.

“With the signing of this suite of bills into law, New Mexico once again shines as a leader among states in ensuring our elections are safe and accessible to more voters. While threats to ballot access and election security continue to plague the nation, our state works to break down many of the systemic barriers to the ballot that have disenfranchised entire swaths of the population,” said Sen. Katy Duhigg. “Better access for more eligible voters, along with smart, secure and efficient election process improvements will translate to higher levels of participation and engagement, and that is a great thing for our democracy.”