Voters in future Santa Fe municipal elections will be thinking about Thanksgiving instead of Easter. An amendment to the city charter to move elections from March to November of odd-numbered years was among measures that appear to have earned voter approval on the general election ballot.
City councilors who put the question to voters said the change should improve voter participation.
Also, nearly 70 percent of voters in Santa Fe, Taos, Rio Arriba and Los Alamos appear to have approved the extension of a gross-receipts tax that funds the North Central Regional Transit District's public transportation projects and sends money to the New Mexico Rail Runner Express commuter trains.
Statewide, two amendments to the New Mexico Constitution and a set of general obligation bonds also seem to have passed. The measure to create an independent ethics commission will be perhaps the one with the most discernible effect. The details of how the commission would be appointed and its rules of procedure and transparency would be laid out next year by the Legislature.
Former Albuquerque Senator Dede Feldman says the passage of the amendment should be a strong signal that New Mexicans want accountability for legislators.
"We have had so many examples of corruption and so many scandals and so much reluctance on the part of the Legislature to do anything about this that finally, when voters did get a chance to weigh in, they voted for it," she tells SFR.
Another constitutional amendment gives the Legislature permission to pass new laws governing the appeals process for the state's lower courts.
Voters gave the thumbs-up to statewide general obligation bonds worth a total of $166 million to pay for capital projects for seniors, libraries, school buses and school projects including $5 million toward the Santa Fe Community College's planned automotive training program, according to early, unofficial results from the Secretary of State's Office.