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Morning Word: ACLU Suggests Ballot Selfies Are Protected Speech

November 4, 2016, 7:30 am
ACLU: Ballot Selfies Protected Speech
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico believes that “ballot selfies” are protected by the first amendment and advised county clerks on Thursday not to ban cell phones at the polls.

WIPP Employees Evacuated After Rock Fall
A rock fall inside one area of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plan near Carlsbad forced a precautionary evacuation on Thursday. Officials say that no one was injured. A team plans to re-enter the site today to determine the extent of the rock fall and what caused it.

Medical Cannabis Provider Faces Stiff Punishment
Ultra Health, the state’s top-selling medical cannabis provider, has been ordered to stop selling medication to its patients for five days as punishment for displaying a small nonflowering plant at its state fair education booth. The firm is appealing the sanction.

Gun Death at MedPot Grow Site Still Under Investigation
Meanwhile, the Department of Health has not sanctioned another cannabis provider outside Ruidoso for having a gun on its premises in violation of both state and federal laws. Authorities are still investigating a violent gun death at the Nogal growing compound earlier this year.

Expect A Dry Winter in New Mexico
It may be a bit rainy in Central New Mexico today, but weather forecasters are predicting less moisture around the state this winter. Staci Matlock reports:
Last month was the second-warmest October on record for the city since at least the 1940s, based on data collected at the Santa Fe Municipal Airport. It was a warm, dry month all across New Mexico, expanding drought conditions in the state, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report. The warm, arid spell extended into the first couple of days of November, and forecasters expect the trend to continue until at least the first month of 2017.
Last Day to Vote Early is Saturday
If you want to cast your ballot early, you’ve only got until tomorrow. After that, you’ll have to either vote absentee or head to the polls on Tuesday. Here’s a map showing you early and Election Day voting sites.

Balloon Fiesta Attendance Dips
KOB reports, “Attendance dipped at the 2016 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta compared to the previous year, but Fiesta officials say the number of this year’s visitors was better than the event’s five-year average.”
Organizers announced Thursday afternoon the 45th annual Fiesta saw 839,309 visitors last month, a more than 116,000 drop-off from 2015. This year’s total did surpass the 817,899 average over the last five years.


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