Pop Quiz: Primary Election 2024

The current and former county clerks face off in the June 4 races—now it’s time for a test of their knowledge

This week, SFR pop quizzes candidates in the race for Santa Fe County Clerk.

The Santa Fe County Clerk is tasked with recording documents, attending Board of County Commissioner meetings and—perhaps the most crucial task—running elections within Santa Fe County. In the Democratic race, incumbent Clerk Katharine E. Clark seeks a second term and faces off against her predecessor Geraldine Salazar.

Per SFR’s ground rules, the candidates agree to not use any sources besides their own knowledge to answer the quiz questions. SFR records the conversations and reports the answers verbatim. Early voting in the June election began May 7. Find voting locations and additional information at

County Clerk questions:

  1. Name five of the early voting polling locations in Santa Fe County.
  2. Describe the latest initiative the New Mexico Secretary of State Office launched to counter election misinformation.
  3. How much does it cost for people to replace their marriage licenses or certificates?
  4. What percentage of registered voters in Santa Fe County cast a ballot in the last regular local election? Bonus: By what percent did that number increase or decrease in comparison to 2021?
  5. If a homeowners association fails to record a “notice of homeowner association” with the Santa Fe County Clerk’s Office within 30 days of declaration, what happens to the HOA?

County Clerk answers:

  1. Early voting began May 7 at the Santa Fe County Clerk’s Office. Expanded early voting, which starts May 18, will add nine additional locations: Edgewood Fire Station 70; Max Coll Corridor Community Center; Santa Fe Community College; Christian Life Church; Pojoaque Satellite Office; Nancy Rodriguez Community Center; Santa Fe County Fair Building; Abedon Lopez Community Center; and Southside Library. See a list of all election day polling locations here.
  2. On May 1, the Secretary of State Office launched a new campaign to help voters avoid artificially-generated election misinformation and the risks that come with AI for voters. The efforts, which started with a budget of $500,000, include social media, radio, television and billboard advertisements, as well as a website that provides tools to voters to help identify AI.
  3. $15.
  4. Approximately 30% of registered voters—or more than 32,000 people—cast ballots in the Nov. 7, 2023 regular local election, making it the highest voter turnout since the Regular Local Election Act was enacted. Bonus: Only 24% of voters turned out in the 2021 regular local election, marking a 6% increase for 2023.
  5. An HOA that fails to record the notice does not have the authority to charge an assessment, levy a fine for late payment or a lien for nonpayment until it records the notice.

Katharine E. Clark, 42 (98/100)

Clark took office in 2021 following an endorsement from Salazar. Clark boasts of first-term victories that include modernizing elections and purchasing new equipment. If re-elected, she says she will continue those modernization efforts and expand capacity for future elections. Prior to taking office, Clark was a small business owner.


  1. Name five of the early voting locations in Santa Fe County? Nancy Rodriguez, the Clerk’s Office, Santa Fe Community College, Christian Life, the Fairgrounds, Abedon Lopez—am I up to five yet? (20/20)
  2. It’s about artificial intelligence. So I think this week she pushed out a discussion of using AI and making sure that what you’re seeing is accurate. It’s actually part of the bill from the legislative session last year about election misinformation and not being able to technically be able to use it in New Mexico but of course, we’re still going to see it. (20/20)
  3. You may have to pay $25 again. (0/20)
  4. It was 31% of eligible voters. (20/20) Bonus: So I think in 2021, we did about—let me think about that for a second—I think we did 25 to 26% and then this was 31%. So are you making me do math? Well, 5% increase. (18/20)
  5. They can’t enforce their rules. (20/20)

Geraldine Salazar, 70 (44/100)

Salazar, a former clerk from 2013 to 2020, came out of retirement to challenge Clark for a third term. Salazar started off as a recording clerk. She says if she wins the office, she will improve customer service and reassess the office operations.


  1. The Clerk’s Office, the Eldorado—I’m blanking. I apologize. (4/20)
  2. I did see that so they have resources to basically go over if someone contacts the Secretary of State’s Office about voter information that has been manipulated. They will look into that and make sure that the Secretary of State’s Office looks out and provides information to diffuse that rumor or bad information or misguided information or toxic information. (20/20)
  3. To replace their marriage license I would, you know, it could be $10 or $25. And I’m remembering when we did this. I know the last time I looked at the fee schedule, a lot of the fees have gone up and so I’m not familiar with it. I know that for public records research it’s gone up from $20 to $40. But as far as for the marriage license or the certificate, that I cannot recall specifically. (0/20)
  4. The regular local election? See, I totally detached from all these numbers. I had no idea I was gonna run again. So I decided to run January 30 of this year, so I was happily retired and I did not pay attention to that. Sorry. (0/20) Bonus: I couldn’t answer that. (0/20)
  5. I believe that it’s irrelevant. It doesn’t stand to the status of being an HOA. That’s my opinion and what I recall. I may be wrong. (20/20)
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