Less than a third of the city's registered voters took the trouble to cast their ballots in this year's mayoral election, a number that's fairly consistent with previous mayoral elections.
Of the city's 57,905 registered voters eligible for the March 4 municipal election, just 17,016 voted to choose a new mayor, putting the turnout number at 29 percent.
Although the turnout number isn't high, it beats the 2010 mayoral election number of 27 percent (or 12,849 out of 46,990 registered voters at the time). That year, incumbent Mayor David Coss won reelection by a wide margin.
In 2006, when Coss won his first mayoral term, the turnout was similar to this year when 30 percent of registered voters came out to vote in the election (or 15,434 out of 50,631 eligible voters). The 2002 mayoral election had a higher turnout at 38 percent, though just 44,108 voters were registered at the time. That year, voters approved incumbent Mayor Larry Delgado to a second term.
While the city has had a tough time getting more registered voters to cast ballots during mayoral election years, Santa Fe's turnout rate still fared better than Rio Rancho's mayoral election on Tuesday, which saw 12 percent of registered voters cast a ballot. Similarly, Albuquerque's mayoral election last October saw a 20 percent turnout rate.
Things could change in Santa Fe by the next citywide election. Mayor-elect Javier Gonzales told the Santa Fe New Mexican earlier this week that he wants the city to implement runoff voting and expand voting hours.
Voters approved a voting scheme called "ranked choice voting" in a city charter amendment six years ago, but the city has yet to enforce it.
Editor's Note: SFR previously reported that the city has 60,000 voters eligible for the election. SFR regrets the error. That's the number of city voters as of Feb. 20, but only those who got on the rolls before Feb. 4 could vote.