Home Uncategorized New Mexico Ballot Access Bill Advances

New Mexico Ballot Access Bill Advances

On February 7, the New Mexico Senate Rules Committee passed SB 125, with only one “no” vote. It makes several ballot access improvements: (1) moves the petition deadline for a newly-qualifying party from April to late June; (2) lowers the number of signatures in midterm years for a different type of petition, a “nominee” petition; (3) sets up a procedure, a petition of one-half of 1% of the last gubernatorial vote, for an unqualified party to appear on the November ballot for president only.

The petition referred to in (2) above is a unique New Mexico type of petition. After a ballot-qualified minor party nominates candidates, then each nominee (except presidential nominees) must collect the signatures of 1% of the last vote cast. The bill lowers the number in midterm years, by making the number of signatures equal to 1% of the last gubernatorial vote. This change has no effect in presidential years, but would lower the 2014 (and other midterm years) from approximately 8,000 signatures for a statewide office, to approximately 6,000.

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