NM Democrats sue for straight party ticket voting

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October 12, 2012

New Mexico

By Joel Williams

Santa Fe, New Mexico: The Democratic Party of New Mexico filed a lawsuit with the state Supreme Court, aimed at returning a straight party ticket voting option to this year's ballot. Such an option would allow voters to mark a single box to cast a vote for all the members of a specific political party. Straight party voting was previously allowed in the 2010 gubernatorial election, with 41 percent of voters using that method.[1] The lawsuit names Republican Secretary of State Dianna Duran as the defendant, who claims that state law does not allow the straight party voting option.[2]

The removal of straight party voting is contentious because it has become a staple of New Mexico voting until this election. The Department of Elections estimates that 50,000 absentee ballots have already been cast without the option, but the lawsuit does not seek to invalidate these votes. Although polling locations use paper ballots, most locations print the ballots on demand, so any change even up to Election Day is possible.[1] If this lawsuit returns straight party voting to the New Mexican ballot, it would be one of fifteen states that offer the option to voters.[3]

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