Last week, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver announced that a straight-ticket option would once again be included on November's general ballot—allowing voters to cast a single vote, deciding all their candidates along party lines.
According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Toulouse Oliver announced last week that she would be reformatting this year's general ballot to include the option, telling reporters that the change will cut voting time in half and make it easier for voters.
But the Republican and Libertarian Parties of New Mexico have both joined a lawsuit alongside others that accuses Toulouse Oliver of overstepping her authority and circumventing public notice and commentary periods required by state law. RPNM Chairman Ryan Cangiolosi said the Secretary of State's move is an “attempt to undermine free and fair elections” and “likely illegal,” according to KOB4. He pointed out that the option was reinstated less than 70 days before an election where Toulouse Oliver is running for re-election.
Polls Show Lujan Grisham in Lead
Three polls taken over the last month show US Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham is taking a lead over Republican US Rep. Steve Pearce in the race for governor.
A poll released by Albuquerque's Carroll Strategies in late June found that Lujan Grisham had 50.5 percent support, while Pearce had 42.7 percent support. According to KOB4, 1,199 people were polled. Carroll Strategies said there was a 2.8 percent margin of error. A spokesperson for the Pearce campaign told reporters the poll was “as credible as a phone scam.”
An Emerson poll released around the same time found Grisham at 45 percent favorable and 29 percent unfavorable, while Pearce was 41 percent favorable and 31 percent unfavorable. The Emerson poll had a margin of error of 4.6 percentage points.
Last week a poll commissioned by the Lujan Grisham campaign found her favorable rating at 47 percent with 29 percent unfavorable. Pearce was rated 38 percent favorable and 37 percent unfavorable. 600 voters were polled. The poll has a 4 point margin of error.
APS Superintendent Won't Sign PED Plan
Albuquerque Public Schools is waiting for a judge to rule whether the Public Education Department is overstepping its bounds by threatening to close a local school.
Albuquerque Journal reports Superintendent Raquel Reedy sent a letter to the PED last week saying she would not sign the department's plan for Hawthorne Elementary—which designated the school as needing “more rigorous intervention” (MRI) after multiple failing grades. Last month, APS filed an appeal against the decision, claiming it was outside of Secretary-designate Christopher Ruszkowski's power to close the school.
Ruszkowski said the appeal has not changed the department's plans, and Hawthorne is still in danger of closing at the end of the year.