Vote the More Convenient Way

Santa Fe opens all voting centers to all residents for Tuesday's city election

In an effort to make voting more accessible across the city, the Santa Fe municipal election features 12 new voting convenience centers, where anyone who's registered in the city limits can cast a ballot from 7 am to 7 pm during the Tuesday contest for city council seats and the municipal judge

"It's not precinct-specific anymore or district-specific," City Clerk Yolanda Vigil says. "So say you work downtown, but you live over near the Genoveva Chavez Center, you can go to any of them. … No matter where you are throughout the day, you can go to one of these sites."

The voting centers are located at:

1.  Montezuma Lodge, 431 Paseo de Peralta

2.  Gonzales Community School, 851 W Alameda

3.  St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 1301 Osage Ave.

4.  Atalaya Elementary School, 721 Camino Cabra

5.  St. John's United Methodist Church, 1200 Old Pecos Trail

6.  Christian Life Church, 121 Siringo Road

7.  El Camino Real Academy, 2500 South Meadows Road

8.  Sweeney Elementary School, 4100 South Meadows Road

9.  Southside Library, 6599 Jaguar Drive

10. Nava Elementary School, 2655 Siringo Road

11. Kearny Elementary School, 901 Avenida de las Campanas

12. Genoveva Chavez Community Center, 3221 Rodeo Road

Bigger cities in the state, including Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, have already switched to this model. It eliminates confusion over exactly where a voter is registered and therefore should cast a ballot, avoiding the need to shuffle them from place to place, according to Vigil. Instead, voters give their names, and a ballot specific to their district will be printed for them to mark.

Santa Fe Trails buses are also free all day to ease transportation options.

All voters should have received a map of the voting convenience centers in the mail; questions can be directed to the city clerk's office at 955-6326, 955-6519, 955-6520 or 955-6521.

Early voting results show about 1,662 ballots have already been cast, with an even split between City Hall and the Genoveva Chavez Community Center. That's less than the last mayoral election, but more than the last municipal judge's race, Vigil says.

Election results will be broadcast on Comcast Channel 28 and will be posted in council chambers at City Hall after polls close at 7 pm. With ballot boxes from only 12 sites, instead of 33 locations, to count, Vigil says those results may come out even faster than usual.

Two candidates, Ignacio Gallegos and Virginia Vigil, are running for the judge seat. Incumbent councilors Peter Ives and Chris Rivera are set to sail to another term in Districts 2 and 3, since no one is opposing their re-election, and in District 4, Michael Harris is stepping up to fill the seat Bill Dimas is vacating. In District 1, four candidates are on the ballot: Kathryn Kennedy, a partner at Skylight Santa Fe; Renee Villarreal, a former planning commission member; returning candidate Marie Campos, who was recently redistricted from District 3 to District 1; and Frank Montaño, a former city councilor and school board member.

Santa Fe Reporter

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