30 March 2023

Alex Curtas, Director of Communications
New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office

Secretary of State Applauds Governor’s Signing of Multiple High-Priority Election Bills
“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.”

SANTA FE – Today, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law three high-priority bills for the Secretary of State’s Office and election administrators across the state – House Bill 4, Senate Bill 180, and Senate Bill 43. Taken together, the bills represent the most comprehensive set of pro-voter policies to come out of the legislature in years.

“Today’s bill signings are a huge win for voters and election administrators that will strengthen New Mexico’s elections for years to come,” said Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver after today’s bill signing ceremony in Santa Fe. “These bills represent dedicated, years-long work from tribal leaders and community members, legislators, my staff, and election administrators across the state. 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. These bills deftly balance voter access protections with maintaining our high levels of election security and I thank Governor Lujan Grisham for signing them into law today.”

The New Mexico Voting Rights Act (HB4 – Sponsored by Senator Katy Duhigg and Representatives Javier Martinez, Gail Chasey, D. Wonda Johnson, and Raymundo Lara) puts pro-voter provisions into law that protect the safety and integrity of our elections and include streamlining the voter registration process for formerly incarcerated New Mexicans so they can better reintegrate into civic society; establishing the Native American Voting Rights Act to support tribal election officials (the first of its kind in the United States); creating a voluntary, permanent vote-by-mail list; implementing automatic voter registration at the motor vehicle department and other state agencies; among other important provisions.

Senate Bill 180 (SB180 – Sponsored by Senators Katy Duhigg and Leo Jaramillo and Representative Gail Chasey) is a critical piece of legislation that modernizes election security and administration in New Mexico by making updates to the Election Code. Focused primarily on provisions to aid election administrators in the efficient conduct of elections, the bill provides measures to secure sensitive voter data, increase compensation for election workers, make permanent the Secretary of State’s election security program, update timelines and procedures for mail-in ballots, and allow for electronic nominating petition signatures, among others.

Intimidation of Election Officials (SB43 – Sponsored by Senator Katy Duhigg) is a bill focused on democracy’s front line workers—election workers and officials—to ensure they are able to safely and effectively administer our elections without fear of intimidation. The crime of intimidation, a fourth-degree felony, will now include acts against employees and agents of the Secretary of State, County Clerks’ and Municipal Clerks’ offices or election officials themselves.