City Boss Fight 2009
Why Wait for Election Day?
Get your voting done now! (And bring your ID.)
By Steven Robert Allen
I spend much of my professional life complaining about all the things government does wrong. I’m not naturally a whiny person, but it’s my job to point out potential ways to improve it.
Sometimes it’s nice to celebrate the things politicians have done right. Here’s a prime example: Along with 32 other states in the country, New Mexico allows qualified citizens to vote before Election Day during a designated early voting period. You don’t need a clever excuse. You don’t need a note from your doctor. You don’t need to plan a trip to Borneo that coincides with Election Day. You just show up at an early voting site and get ’er done.
This is a very smart reform, partly because it makes voting much easier for folks who can’t always take time out on Big Tuesday. Perhaps even more important, a high volume of early voting can vastly reduce the burden on administrators come Election Day. Everyone wants a smooth-flowing election, and taking advantage of early voting raises the likelihood of this immensely.
Albuquerque has a very important election scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 6. Registered Burqueños get to vote for mayor in a three-way race pitting incumbent Marty Chavez against two Richards—Romero and Berry. Many voters will get to take a stab at several contested City Council races, too, and there are a host of charter amendments and bond issues on the ballot as well. You can learn more about these races at the local website of the nonpartisan League of Women Voters, lwvabc.org.
I hardly to need mention that by casting a vote in this important election, you have a genuine opportunity to influence the direction of our beloved city. Of course, I realize there’s a certain romance associated with marking a ballot on Election Day itself. But, let’s face it, there’s some extra hassle involved, too.
Unlike last year, in this election you are required to show a photo ID to cast a ballot.
Why not do the deed on your own terms? Our city clerk has made it easy. Four early voting sites have been set up around the city. From Sept. 16 through Oct. 2, all registered Albuquerque voters will be able to visit any one of these sites from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, to cast a ballot.
If Downtown is your turf, you’ll want to go to the city clerk’s office to vote early. It’s located in room B2041 in the basement of the City/County Building at One Civic Plaza (on the corner of Fifth Street and Marquette).
If the North Valley is more convenient for you, the closest early voting site is probably the City of Albuquerque Records Center at 604 Menaul NW.
Uptown? Go to the APS City Center at 6400 Uptown NE, Suite 101 West.
A Westsider? The early voting site of choice is in Ladera Plaza at 5300 Sequoia NW, Suite G.
What else do you need to know? There’s one very important thing. Please, please, please note that, unlike last year, in this election you are required to show a photo ID to cast a ballot. Do not forget to bring this with you to the polls. Of course, a driver’s license is perfect, but other IDs will be accepted as well. Your ID doesn't need to have the same address as the one you’re registered under.
Details about what kinds of IDs will work are available on Common Cause New Mexico’s election protection website, counteveryvotenm.org. This site also has detailed information about the election in general, including links to maps of the various early voting sites. For even more details, the city clerk’s website is at cabq.gov/clerk.
If you have any other questions whatsoever, contact the city clerk at 768-3030. Also, if any problem should arise, call our Election Protection hotline at (866) OUR-VOTE, and a specialist in Albuquerque election law will assist you.
Good luck, and happy voting!
Steven Robert Allen is the executive director of Common Cause New Mexico and the former editor of the Alibi .
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