Your friends at the Alibi love to vote. We love it so much, in fact, we're encouraging all of you eligible voters to get on board and feel the rush. Early voting has already begun and between now and election day you can walk into the County Clerk's office on the sixth floor of Civic Plaza (call 768-4085 for hours) or you can log onto www.bernco.gov to locate an early voting location near you. Or, you can go vote on Nov. 2 when polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. No matter when you choose to do it, though, it is your civic responsibility as an American to vote—don't make us send a car!
To receive our endorsement, candidates must meet with our editorial board. It's not complicated. We ask difficult questions and we expect informed, detailed answers. We like candidates with intelligence and enthusiasm, folks with a strong attachment to the community and a desire to work hard in the public's interest.
Albuquerque Republican attorney Ned Fuller is challenging incumbent Supreme Court Justice Ed Chavez, an Albuquerque Democrat, for the only contested seat this year on the state's highest court.
Republican Paul Barber, an Albuquerque attorney, is challenging incumbent Democrat Michael Vigil, also of Albuquerque. Barber is running on the identical "rescue the courts" platform as Ned Fuller. If you believe there is a crisis of public confidence in the state judiciary, that activist judges are rewriting the laws while issuing rulings based on partisan favoritism, and that the rumors are true about judges partying after hours, Mr. Barber is your man. Hopefully, if you do believe this, you have witnessed it with your own eyes or through honest experience of others.
One of the biggest howlers in this year's local election is the Bernalillo County Clerk's race. With all the cries of improper voter registration coming from the state Republican party over the past six weeks, guess who is running for County Clerk on the GOP ticket? Nobody. That's right, if the GOP operatives put half the effort into running a candidate that they've put into creating the illusion of a voter fraud scandal, maybe the next County Clerk would be a Republican and all our problems would be solved.
What is the PRC exactly? A fast food chain? A standardized test for nursing students? An obscure department within the CIA?
Constitutional Amendment 3 will permit Albuquerque to hold runoff elections in all future mayoral and city council races any time a winning candidate receives less than 40 percent of the popular vote. If you think it's a good thing to elect our local officials based on a majority, then vote for this amendment. We think the public deserves better than electing a mayor out of a crowded field with approximately 30 percent of the votes, which is how Marty Chavez took office in 2001 and Jim Baca was elected in 1997. Runoffs would give the public the satisfaction of electing our mayor and city councilors by majority, and we wholeheartedly support the idea.
While there are a great many reasons to support city/county unification, apparently the main reason to oppose it is the threat of higher taxes. That at least is the conclusion you might reach from listening to the barely audible debate on one the most important issues facing Bernalillo County voters this year.
This year, you'll find six contested races for judgeships in the Second Judicial District on your ballot and four contested races for Metro Court. And you probably know little or nothing about any of the candidates. Well relax. We have a simple solution for you to consider. Each race pits a sitting judge against a challenger. We don't care what the party affiliation is of any of these candidates, because we are endorsing all the incumbents.
It's ridiculous that we are going through this same boondoggle for a second time in 12 months. But unfortunately that's the kind of incompetent leadership you get in Albuquerque sometimes.