After scoring significant victories in the 2022 midterms, New Mexico Democrats are off to the races in their bid to completely overhaul the state’s future election administration.
In the state legislature, where Democrats enjoy majorities in both chambers, several leftist House representatives have introduced legislation that seeks to enshrine numerous Democrat-favorable voting policies into law. If successfully passed and signed by Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the newly proposed bill (HB 4) would expand mail-in voting — the least secure and most unreliable form of voting — throughout the state.
Buried within HB 4 are provisions allowing for the development of a “voluntary permanent absentee voter list,” where county clerks “automatically send a mailed ballot to the mailing address listed on [a voter’s registration certificate] each time there is a statewide election that includes [his or her] precinct.” This absentee voter list mirrors lax no-excuse absentee voting and “indefinite confinement” rules that Democrats popularized around the country under the guise of the Covid “emergency” to the detriment of election integrity.
The bill would furthermore require counties to have at least two ballot drop boxes within their jurisdiction, with the measure allowing county clerks to request more from the secretary of state.
But New Mexico Democrats’ election takeover doesn’t stop at mail-in voting. Under the bill, convicted felons would be permitted to register to vote after getting out of prison but before completing parole or probation.
“During the reentry phase of an inmate’s sentence, if the inmate is a voter or otherwise a qualified elector, the inmate shall be given an opportunity to register to vote or update an existing registration by means of a transaction with the motor vehicle division of the taxation and revenue department prior to the inmate’s release from custody,” the bill reads.
Under existing New Mexico law, convicted felons “must complete probation or parole before registering to vote again,” according to the Albuquerque Journal.
Also included in the measure are changes creating an automatic voter registration system at the state’s driver’s licensing agency, as well as at other state and local government departments.
A similar version of the legislation was introduced during last year’s legislative session but was filibustered by state Senate Republicans. Given that the state’s 2023 session will be twice as long as last year’s, it seems probable the bill will pass.
In predictable fashion, legacy media outlets have gone out of their way to run interference for New Mexico Democrats by classifying HB 4 as a “voting rights” bill. On Wednesday, Daily Kos writer Stephen Wolf penned an article saying the legislation was designed to “broadly protect and expand voting rights in the state.”
The Albuquerque Journal’s Dan McKay used similar language, whining about how New Mexico Senate Republicans “killed election legislation at the Roundhouse in the final hours of last year’s session.”