general election


V.25 No.43 | 10/27/2016

Seasons Change

Early Voting Edition

So you've probably heard of this crazy thing called early voting... ever tried it? I have. It's totally the best. You get hit with a rush of patriotic power, like, as soon as you walk in because you get to vote almost as soon as you walk in.

Seriously, though, I highly recommend it. The longest I've ever had to wait for early voting was maybe three minutes. Compared to what I saw for the primary election earlier this year—crazy long lines and wait times—and, personally, I expect there will more people this time around.

Early voting is easy. You can literally google, “early voting near me” and polling stations near you will come up on your screen. Go here and they'll even tell you what the wait time currently is! If you're concerned about time, your employer legally has to give you time off to vote.

Voting is important, particularly this election cycle. Please vote. And the sooner, the better. Good luck fam. Early voting ends Nov. 5.

V.23 No.44 | 10/30/2014

Election 2014

The Alibi Guide to Rocking the Bernalillo County Vote

Everything you ever wanted to know about voting in 2014 but were afraid to ask

Weekly Alibi wants you to vote. And yes, we know you’re busy. So scope our 2014 Election Guide for everything you need to know about voting in the general election.

Election 2014

Incumbent vs. Insider

The race for New Mexico governor

Incumbent vs. Insider

Our guide begins with the Governor’s race.

Election 2014

High-Stakes Races We’re Following

US Senator—Udall vs. Weh

Wherein we report on candidates for the most hotly contested and influential positions on the 2014 ballot.

Election 2014

The Obvious, the Important and the Inscrutable

The Alibi’s guide to amendments and advisory questions

Our guide to city bonds, constitutional amendments, and other mysterious items that await you at the bottom of this year’s ballot.
V.23 No.40 |

news

The Daily Word in a cryptid sighting, an ear canal insect and voting

The Daily Word

Absentee voting for the New Mexico general elections starts today.

This woman is searching Albuquerque's west mesa for her missing sister.

New York City water really does make the best bagels.

A prominent Santa Fean was attacked at his home.

Thou shalt probably not preach Jesus stuff when in uniform.

Doug Ford has a good chance of winning the Toronto mayoral race.

Bigfoot sighting.

Here is disturbing video of a large hideous insect being pulled out of a man's ear.

US border with Mexico is now only "the last line of defense" against illegals.

CNN needs writers with better aptitude for metaphor.

V.23 No.38 |

editorial

Dotdotdotdashdashdashdotdotdot: High court calls on SOS to perform job as election nears

In a stunning blow to governance by partisan paternalism, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled on Friday, Sept. 19, that the Secretary of State does not have authority to remove advisory initiatives approved by county commissions from the general election ballot. This high court ruling means that citizens of Bernalillo County will get to vote on two nonbinding polling questions regarding decriminalization of small quantities of marijuana and raising sales tax one-eighth of a cent to fund mental health services.

In an oral presentation of the Court's ruling, Supreme Court Justice Barbara Vigil said New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran failed to perform a mandatory duty of her office by refusing to include county-approved initiatives on the general election ballot; the Court ordered her to do so.

If you haven't already, you'll hear more about Duran in the weeks to come. Her unsuccessful attempt to quash Bernalillo and Santa Fe County advisory initiatives via unilateral memorandum and petititions of both federal and state courts is only part of the coming Duran-centric news cycle. As the incumbent candidate for Secretary of State, Duran may already be familiar to you.

In the wake of the Court's decision, Duran issued a written statement: “We of course will comply with this order, but what it means is that Bernalillo County voters will be using a ballot printed in tiny 7-point font, just so people can be presented with a meaningless public opinion poll.” How can the opinion of voters—some of whom obviously voted for her—now seem meaningless to Duran?

Her campaign website, diannaduran.com, colorfully presents polarizing rhetoric. On a page titled "Dianna Duran v. Maggie Toulouse Oliver: The Striking—and very Alarming—Contrasts," Duran calls herself the "target" of "extreme far-left activists of the Democratic Party." She goes on to contrast herself with Toulouse Oliver using all-caps and underlined keywords like "DARK MONEY," "political consultant" and "left-wing activism and partisanship" in reference to Toulouse Oliver.

In contrast, Toulouse Oliver's minimalist campaign website, maggietoulouseoliver.com, focuses on endorsements, and finding criticism of Duran is more challenging. (On the landing page of Duran's website, an arrow guides you straight to the aforementioned "Contrasts" page.) After clicking through Toulouse Oliver's bio and thoughts on the job, the news section of her site reveals her official statement on the Supreme Court decision. And it is critical of Duran, but phrases like "overtly partisan and activist interference in the ballot creation process" and "blatant disrespect for the separation of powers in our government" pale in comparison to Duran's chart that lists Toulouse Oliver's background and experience as "Campaign Manager for Dark Money Orgs."

But don't take my word for it. Visit their respective websites, linked above, and form your own opinion. For even more insight into their educational, professional and political backgrounds, news, endorsements and campaign contribution disclosures, visit the Ballotpedia pages for Dianna Duran and Maggie Toulouse Oliver.

The Alibi encourages our readership to remain politically informed. To that end, please keep your eyes peeled for websclusive and print-edition political news and election coverage as the 2014 general election nears. And be sure to pick up a copy of the Alibi Election Guide, which hits stands on Thursday, Oct. 30. On a personal note, I've always appreciated the way Halloween and elections coincide. After all, there's really nothing scarier than citizen apathy, low voter turnout and resulting ineffective, subpar leadership and representation.

V.21 No.24 | 6/14/2012

politics

Is New Mexico still a swing state?

Presidential politics were likely not on the minds of New Mexico voters during the primaries on Tuesday. There was no question as to whether Mitt Romney and President Obama would be the major party candidates on the ballot in November. But the general election cycle has begun. At this point, the outlook for the typically competitive and evenly divided state appears surprisingly one-sided.

In recent presidential election cycles, New Mexico received significant attention from candidates vying for the White House. The state’s demographic mix of staunchly conservative Southern New Mexico, liberal Democratic Northern New Mexico, and politically fickle Albuquerque has traditionally made the state into a battleground. In a close election year, New Mexico’s five electoral votes have held strategic importance.

In 2000, Al Gore defeated George W. Bush in New Mexico by a mere 366 votes. Bush flipped the state to the Republican side in 2004, winning by 6,000 votes. The key to Bush’s 2004 victory was his ability to win more than 40 percent of the state’s Hispanic vote. Both elections were won by less than one percentage point.

Those narrow contests made the state a major target for both Obama and John McCain in 2008. Both candidates spent millions of dollars on advertising and made multiple campaign stops in New Mexico. Nevertheless, the contest was not close in 2008. Obama dominated, winning a sizable 15 percent margin of victory. In doing so, he helped sweep in Democratic congressional candidates Tom Udall, Ben Ray Lujan, Martin Heinrich and Harry Teague.

Democrats are hoping that President Obama will repeat his dominant performance in New Mexico this election cycle. Polls so far show the president leading by a significant margin. Consistent high polling for Obama in the winter led Public Policy Polling to write in April, “New Mexico is not going to be a swing state this year.”

Obama is polling remarkably well among key constituencies in the state. He is up 61-35 among women, 67-30 among Hispanics, and 56-35 among young voters. Over the last decade, New Mexico’s electorate has become more favorable for Democratic candidates. The heavily Democratic Hispanic voter population has increased and Albuquerque has leaned more toward Democrats.

Democrats Martin Heinrich and Michelle Lujan Grisham would certainly like help from Obama supporters in November. A high-turnout victory for Obama might help put them over the top in close contests for the open Senate and Congressional seats. Democrats hoping to gain significant ground in the state Legislature also need an Obama wave.

Does Mitt Romney stand a chance of turning New Mexico red in November? Susana Martinez proved just two years ago that the state can still support Republicans in statewide elections. She remains popular with New Mexicans, showing a 54 percent approval rating in April. Her high approval rating, however, does not seem to be translating into support for Romney.

Romney must win over the more of the state’s Hispanic voters if he wants any chance of competing. With his hard-line immigration stance, Romney will likely find this to be an uphill battle. This week, Romney began courting Hispanic voters by releasing an ad citing rising unemployment and poverty for Hispanics under Obama. Yesterday, he appointed Gov. Martinez to a Hispanic leadership team in his campaign.

Yet the forecast still looks favorable for Obama in the Land of Enchantment. The race will likely tighten as November nears. But compared to previous cycles, it does not seem like the presidential campaign will reach a fever pitch in New Mexico. If the race continues to trend clearly toward Obama, both candidates may shift their focus elsewhere. The candidates’ relative lack of attention to the state compared to previous cycles could lower voter turnout and dampen enthusiasm for important and closer contests for the Senate, House and State Legislature.