At least 1,296 people have cast a ballot in Santa Fe County since early voting began on Tuesday at the Santa Fe Convention Center.
Despite technical difficulties that caused long delays on Tuesday morning, Santa Fe County Clerk Geraldine Salazar tells SFR that voting is now running smoothly.
"That first day, the first three and a half hours were an issue for anyone who had requested an absentee ballot, but yesterday and today things are going very well," Salazar tells SFR.
Confusion set the tone Tuesday morning as many people who had requested absentee ballots found that the voting machines at the Santa Fe Convention Center did not allow them to vote in person.
Salazar says many of the machines had not been updated to reflect a 2019 change in New Mexico’s election laws that allows people who have requested an absentee ballot to vote in person if they sign an affidavit canceling the absentee ballot request.
Her staff was able to resolve the issue within a few hours. People who had not requested absentee ballots did not encounter any problems, Salazar says.
Ultimately 610 Santa Feans voted on Tuesday and 686 voted on Wednesday.
Salazar says the voting location is equipped to handle that many people and more, though the timing matters.
“During certain hours of the day we get very busy and have a long line,” she says, noting that “we’ve probably had over 50 in line at the busiest times.”
According to the numbers released by Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver on Thursday, registered Democrats have cast 1,041 of the total ballots so far. Republicans cast 94 ballots, and Independents cast 156. Members of other parties cast five.
So far, nearly 20,000 people have voted statewide.
In-person, early voting continues every weekday from 8 am to 5 pm at the Santa Fe Convention Center. In-person, same day voter registration ends Oct. 31. Alternate early voting sites will open Saturday, Oct. 17 through Saturday, Oct. 31.
For the next four weeks SFR will publish the number of people who have cast absentee ballots each week. Check back with us on Monday for the latest count. Our final count will be published Nov. 2, the day before the election.