Voting is just one of those things—like eating your broccoli or brushing your teeth. Society (or, in some cases, your parents) is always telling you to do it, it feels like a big pain in the ass and in the end you’re better off for it. The difference between broccoli, teeth-brushing and civic duty is that while you’re pretty much forced to do the first two as a kid, the latter is completely a matter of freewill. No one’s going to punish you if you don’t vote—except yourself and whoever it is you non-elect into office.
Job Description: The office of Land Commissioner has got to be one of the most important in the state. With no real oversight from any other governing board, whoever holds the title has a large amount of influence over the direction of our state's land, wildlife, townships and, in the end, public education, since much of the revenue from the office goes toward that cause. Whoever holds the office next will also have some important decisions to make in a pivotal time over what New Mexico does when it comes to energy production.
Job Description: The attorney general (AG) is the chief legal officer of the state of New Mexico. The AG represents the state in court, prosecuting and defending cases, and writing advisory opinions when necessary.
Job Description: Democracies need good secretaries of state like voters (or anyone, for that matter) need air. Without a smooth-running election process, the public can have no faith their vote actually means anything, and the entire democratic ideology crumbles away. The secretary of state oversees the entire election process, from maintaining lists of registered voters to evaluating voting machines to certifying precinct boundaries. The title also has the critical jobs of regulating lobbyist activity and managing campaign finance reports.
Job Description: This office is essential in ensuring that our state's tax dollars are spent appropriately, and don't somehow leak into the pockets of government employees or politicians. The state auditor watches over and is responsible for the 598 audits done every year in the state, and also approves contracts for outside auditing services.
Job Description: The five-member Public Regulation Commission (PRC) is one of the most powerful governing bodies in the state--and most voters don't have a clue what it does. The PRC was created by voters in 1996. Its commissioners are expected to regulate a broad range of enormously complex industries, from utilities to telecommunications to insurance to fire to transportation. District 4 is the only PRC district up for re-election this year that includes parts of Albuquerque, most of which falls in the South Valley. It also includes a part of southwest Santa Fe. The district stretches up to the Four Corners area and has the largest Native American population of any district.
Job Description: Being a senator must be one of the sweetest jobs around. You get a hefty salary and you get to be one of the most influential people in the country, one of only two senators who represent your entire state in Washington, D.C., during a lengthy six-year term. You also get a hefty package of benefits and, ultimately, a fat pension. You write and debate legislation. You vote to confirm federal judges and U.S. Supreme Court justices. You try to haul as much pork back to your state as possible.
Job Description: Whoever holds this post has real potential to improve the state of things in the county, as well as the potential to let things stagnate. County Commissioners help decide what to do with an approximate $100 million county budget, and makes choices on ordinances, resolutions, zoning and policies. The office also has the authority to appoint individuals to various boards and committees.
Feeling a little daunted by the whole election process? Not sure where to go or when, or how to vote early? Not even sure if you can vote? Look no further, dear readers, we've got you covered.