Article V, New Mexico Constitution

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New Mexico Constitution
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Article V of the New Mexico Constitution is entitled Executive Department and consists of 16 sections.

Section 1

Text of Section 1:

Composition of Department; Terms of Office of Members; Residing and Maintaining Records at Seat of Government

The executive department shall consist of a governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state auditor, state treasurer, attorney general and commissioner of public lands, who shall, unless otherwise provided in the constitution of New Mexico, be elected for terms of four years beginning on the first day of January next after their election. The governor and lieutenant governor shall be elected jointly by the casting by each voter of a single vote applicable to both offices.

Such officers shall, after having served two terms in a state office, be ineligible to hold that state office until one full term has intervened.

The officers of the executive department, except the lieutenant governor, shall during their terms of office, reside and keep the public records, books, papers and seals of office at the seat of government.

Upon the adoption of this amendment by the people, the terms provided for in this section shall apply to those officers elected at the general election in 1990 and all state executive officers elected thereafter.[1]


  • Amended on November 3, 1914.
  • Amended on November 4, 1958, effective January 1, 1959.
  • Amended on November 6, 1962.
  • Amended on November 3, 1970.
  • Amended on November 4, 1986.

Section 2

Text of Section 2:

Canvass of Elections; Tie Votes

The returns of every election for state officers shall be sealed up and transmitted to the secretary of state, who, with the governor and chief justice, shall constitute the state canvassing board which shall canvass and declare the result of the election. The joint candidates having the highest number of votes cast for governor and lieutenant governor and the person having the highest number of votes for any other office, as shown by said returns, shall be declared duly elected. If two or more have an equal, and the highest, number of votes for the same office or offices, one of them, or any two for whom joint votes were cast for governor and lieutenant governor respectively, shall be chosen therefore by the legislature on joint ballot.[1]


  • Amended on November 6, 1962.

Section 3

Text of Section 3:

Qualifications of Executive Officers

No person shall be eligible to any office specified in Section One, hereof, unless he be a citizen of the United States, at least thirty years of age, nor unless he shall have resided continuously in New Mexico for five years next preceding his election; nor to the office of attorney general, unless he be a licensed attorney of the supreme court of New Mexico in good standing; nor to the office of superintendent of public instruction unless he be a trained and experienced educator.[1]

Section 4

Text of Section 4:

Governor's Executive Power; Commander of Militia

The supreme executive power of the state shall be vested in the governor, who shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed. He shall be commander in chief of the military forces of the state, except when they are called into the service of the United States. He shall have power to call out the militia to preserve the public peace, execute the laws, suppress insurrection and repel invasion.[1]

Section 5

Text of Section 5:

Governor's Appointive and Removal Power; Interim Appointees

The governor shall nominate and, by and with the consent of the senate, appoint all officers whose appointment or election is not otherwise provided for and may remove any officer appointed by him unless otherwise provided by law. Should a vacancy occur in any state office, except lieutenant governor and member of the legislature, the governor shall fill such office by appointment, and such appointee shall hold office until the next general election, when his successor shall be chosen for the unexpired term.[1]


  • Amended on November 8, 1988.

Section 6

Text of Section 6:

Governor's Power to Pardon and Reprieve

Subject to such regulations as may be prescribed by law, the governor shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons, after conviction for all offenses except treason and in cases of impeachment.[1]

Section 7

Text of Section 7:

Succession to Governorship

If at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the governor, the governor-elect shall have died, the lieutenant governor-elect shall become governor. If a governor shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the governor-elect shall have failed to qualify, then the lieutenant governor-elect shall act as governor until a governor shall have qualified; and the legislature may by law provide for the case wherein neither a governor-elect nor a lieutenant governor-elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as governor, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a governor or lieutenant governor shall have qualified.

If after the governor-elect has qualified a vacancy occurs in the office of governor, the lieutenant governor shall succeed to that office, and to all the powers, duties and emoluments thereof, provided he has by that time qualified for the office of lieutenant governor. In case the governor is absent from the state, or is for any reason unable to perform his duties, the lieutenant governor shall act as governor, with all the powers, duties and emoluments of that office until such disability be removed. In case there is no lieutenant governor, or in case he is for any reason unable to perform the duties of governor, then the secretary of state shall perform the duties of governor, and, in case there is no secretary of state, then the president pro tempore of the senate, or in case there is no president pro tempore of the senate, or he is for any reason unable to perform the duties of governor, then the speaker of the house shall succeed to the office of governor, or act as governor as hereinbefore provided.[1]


  • Amended on November 2, 1948.

Section 8

Text of Section 8:

Lieutenant Governor to Be President of Senate

The lieutenant governor shall be president of the senate, but shall vote only when the senate is equally divided.[1]

Section 9

Text of Section 9:

Public Accounts and Reports

Each officer of the executive department and of the public institutions of the state shall keep an account of all moneys received by him and make reports thereof to the governor under oath, annually, and at such other times as the governor may require, and shall, at least thirty days preceding each regular session of the legislature, make a full and complete report to the governor, who shall transmit the same to the legislature.[1]

Section 10

Text of Section 10:

State Seal

There shall be a state seal which shall be called the "Great Seal of the State of New Mexico," and shall be kept by the secretary of state.[1]

Section 11

Text of Section 11:


All commissions shall issue in the name of the state, be signed by the governor and attested by the secretary of state, who shall affix the state seal thereto.[1]

Section 12

Text of Section 12:

Compensation of Executive Officers

The annual compensation to be paid to the officers mentioned in Section One of this article shall be as follows: governor, five thousand dollars [($5,000)]; secretary of state, three thousand dollars [($3,000)]; state auditor, three thousand dollars [($3,000)]; state treasurer, three thousand dollars [($3,000)]; attorney general, four thousand dollars [($4,000)]; superintendent of public instruction, three thousand dollars [$3,000)]; and commissioner of public lands, three thousand dollars [($3,000)]; which compensation shall be paid to the respective officers in equal quarterly payments.

The lieutenant governor shall receive ten dollars [($10.00)] per diem while acting as presiding officer of the senate, and mileage at the same rate as a state senator.

The compensation herein fixed shall be full payment for all services rendered by said officers and they shall receive no other fees or compensation whatsoever.

The compensation of any of said officers may be increased or decreased by law after the expiration of ten years from the date of the admission of New Mexico as a state.[1]

Section 13

Text of Section 13:

Residence of Public Officers; Election from Equal Districts

All district and municipal officers, county commissioners, school board members and municipal governing body members shall be residents of the political subdivision or district from which they are elected or for which they are appointed.

Counties, school districts and municipalities may be divided by their governing bodies into districts composed of populations as nearly equal as practicable for the purpose of electing the members of the respective governing bodies.[1]


  • Amended on November 8, 1960.
  • Amended on November 4, 1986.

Section 14

Text of Section 14:

State Transportation Commission

There is created a "state transportation commission."The members of the state transportation commission shall be appointed, shall have such power and shall perform such duties as may be provided by law. Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 5, Section 5 of the constitution of New Mexico, state transportation commissioners shall only be removed as provided by law.[1]


  • Repealed and re-enacted on November 7, 1967.
  • Amended on November 5, 2002.

Section 15

Text of Section 15:

Confirmation of cabinet secretaries

The heads of all cabinet-level departments or agencies whose appointment is subject to confirmation by the senate shall be subject to confirmation or reconfirmation by the senate at the beginning of each term of a governor.[1]


  • Added on November 4, 2008.

Section 15

Text of Section 15:

Vacancy in the office of the lieutenant governor

Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the lieutenant governor, the governor shall nominate a lieutenant governor who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of all members elected to the senate and shall serve the remainder of the unexpired term.[1]


  • Added on November 4, 2008.

See also

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