Bill to erode election security one hurdle away from becoming law

On Wednesday, the New Mexico Senate voted 27-14 to pass H.B. 4, an extreme rewrite of many portions of the state’s election code. 

Provisions in the bill would erode election security by letting felons vote, mandating a permanent absentee voter list, mandatory ballot drop boxes, and mandating voters be automatically registered at the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), where they would have to opt out by mail.

There were many concerns in committees and during floor discussions about the bill infringing on religious freedoms because some religions do not permit voting. Forcibly registering people to vote would be a violation.

According to the bill’s fiscal impact report, the Taxation and Revenue Department reports that “implementation of this bill will have a high impact on its IT Division. The estimated time to develop, test, and implement the changes is approximately 2,704 hours or 17 months and approximately $717,700 ($567,800 contractual resources including gross receipts tax and staff workload costs of $149,900). The bill will require MVD to partner with [the Secretary of State’s office] to make changes to the interface between the two agencies.”

According to the New Mexico Sun, “The New Mexico Business Coalition (NMBC) strongly opposes HB 4. NMBC President Carla Sonntag published a letter arguing that the legislation would endanger both voting rights and voting system integrity in many ways, including automatically registering voters without their consent, increasing the likelihood of non-U.S. citizens being registered to vote and giving full voting rights to felons prior to completion of parole/probation.”

Following the Senate vote, Republican Senate Leader Brian Baca said in a statement, “I am incredibly disappointed in the Secretary of State and Democratic legislators who put progressive special interests above the people of New Mexico with the passage of this legislation,” adding, “The only beneficiaries of this legislation are felons and those seeking to compromise the integrity of our elections.”

While the bill was in the House, Republicans attempted to amend it with a provision to require photo identification to vote, which all died. In the Senate, Republicans attempted to add amendments, including one to create an opt-in system for the MVD registrations. Those attempts failed also.

Since the Senate amended the bill in that chamber, it will now have to go back to the House for concurrence. If that happens, it will go to Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s desk, where she is all but guaranteed to sign it. New Mexicans can contact their state representatives to ask them to oppose the bill.


11 thoughts on “Bill to erode election security one hurdle away from becoming law”

  1. Signing this bill into law will make NM a true democracy where the majority has absolute power over the minority. Goodbye constitutional republic where the minority is protected, To prevent this the minority will have to engage in the same practices concerning elections. Beat them at their own game as a former president recently said.

    1. I agree with you…but it should be brought to FEDERAL court, not NM’s SC. I’m not sure how that can happen…unless every legislator in opposition demands that it happen and put meat behind it to make sure that it does.

      Our SC is compromised and Democrat majority. It’s for that reason that none of the covid challenges or small business lawsuits were heard: they will rule exactly like MLG wants them to, not according to the letter of the law. Remember, the regressive Democrats here don’t see the law or the Constitution as absolute…it’s all “a starting point” to them.

      Democrats here want to push for “a Democracy.” This country is a CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC. Nothing they say or do changes that fact. The Founding Fathers in their wisdom knew exactly where “Democracies” lead, and that’s why it was set up as such.

  2. By all means contact your “elected representatives” but the dimmoKKKrap majority is bound and determined to remake us into the DUSSNM – disunited socialist state of new mexico.
    Three of the four boxes of freedom have been stolen from us – the soap box, jury box, ballot box.
    I pray these people come to their senses and hold to their oath to protect & defend the Constitutions of New Mexico and of the United States so that We the People aren’t forced to resort to that last box to defend our freedoms.

    1. I think that our only remedy at this point is one box of freedom you didn’t mention: the ammo box. The meaning of “shall not be infringed” is repeatedly lost on these pieces of sh*t. Too much has been allowed to happen, because most people are complacent. They go along to get along….until the collars become too painful and then it’s too late to fight. It took a war to get free from King George, and I think it will take a revolution of a similar type to make anything happen here.

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