Signs are waving, horns are honking and voters are voting. It's Election Day in Santa Fe.
Polling places that opened this morning will remain available through 7 pm.
More than 2,000 people cast early ballots and another 58,000 are eligible to vote today, but in historic elections only as few as 20,000 voters have participated.
Precinct Judge Joyce Martinez, who has been on the job for 12 years, says she's hopeful for a good turnout, noting that the early-morning crowd was steady at Chaparral Elementary School. Notwithstanding that Martinez had to chase a few too-eager campaign volunteers away from the school driveway before classes began and that poll workers were treated to the sound of student practicing band instruments in the courtyard near where voting was taking place, Martinez said Election Day was off to a pleasant start.
Like many in the city, voter Kathy Trujillo said she was surprised to see not only the three-way mayor's race and a council seat on her ballot, but also nine wordy questions about potential changes to the city charter.
"I was not ready for that at all," she said as she left the school on Santa Fe's southeast side. "I read the titles and voted on the ones that seemed interesting to me."
Meanwhile, at the polling place near the Scottish Rite Center (pictured above), street teams for mayoral candidates Patti Bushee and Bill Dimas vied for as attention from drivers. Sign-wavers for Javier Gonzales were nearby at the high-traffic intersection of St. Francis Drive and Cerrillos Road.
Voting is expected to pick up around the lunch hour. State employees also get two hours of administrative leave to vote, and many will leave the office this afternoon.
Not sure where to vote? Find your polling place on the map below. Still need help? call the city clerk at 955-6521.
See more of SFR's 2014 election coverage here.
Featured image by Enrique Limón.