Alibi V.29 No.36 • Sept 3-9, 2020

Newscity

Health Order Eased

The News Monkey

Last week Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that the pandemic stay-at-home order has been relaxed.

Public gatherings of up to 10 people are now allowed under the amended order. Restaurants can now offer indoor dining at 25 percent of maximum capacity. Houses of worship can operate at 40 percent capacity.

“We just want to open up a little bit. We want to be very careful,” said Human Services Secretary David Scrase. “We tried this before. It didn’t work so well.”

During the news conference, the governor claimed to have driven through Española and failed to see anyone wearing a mask. She later apologized for the remark and said she regretted giving the impression that Española was being noncompliant.

The newest health order went into effect Aug. 29.

Last week Education Secretary Ryan Stewart announced that classrooms will open part-time after Labor Day for elementary school students in counties with low average rates of COVID-19 infection and positivity rates.

NM GOP Delegates Told to Self-Quarantine

GOP delegates who traveled to the Republican Party National Convention last week were ordered to self-quarantine by the state.

The Associated Press reports that a spokeswoman for Gov. Lujan Grisham said that the Republican delegates will be expected to self-quarantine for 14 days as directed in the current public health order. The rule applies to all out-of-state travelers.

A spokesperson for New Mexico Republican Chairman Steve Pearce said that he will follow the quarantine provision. Pearce and five other delegates attended a GOP convention in Charlotte, N.C. last week.

“I do feel like it was important to be there,” Republican Chairwoman Tina Dziuk told reporters. “Just speaking for myself, I think there’s a difference between trying to eliminate exposure versus managing your exposure. … And I think we did a really good job of that.”

Democratic delegates will not have to self-quarantine, because the Democratic National Convention was held online via video conference.

Absentee Ballot Applications Go Online

New Mexico voters can now request an absentee ballot for the general election on Nov. 3 through the secretary of state's online absentee ballot request portal.

Voters were already able to apply for an absentee ballot using a paper form, but the online request form speeds up the process. County clerks will begin sending the ballots out Oct. 6. The cutoff for requesting the form is Oct. 20. Officials recommend that ballots be sent back no later than Oct. 27. Ballots must be received before 7pm on Election Day, Nov. 3, regardless of the postmark date.

“Voting by absentee ballot is a safe and secure way to make your voice heard in November while also protecting your health and the health of your community,” Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver told reporters.