On Saturday, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed SB-4, which was amended to exclude an emergency clause by a voice vote of 44-26 after the unsuccessful attempt at passage of the bill earlier in the day.
The first House floor vote on the measure failed on a vote of 38-32, with Democrat Reps. Eliseo Alcon, Harry Garcia, Miguel Garcia, Susan Herrera, Matthew McQueen, Marian Matthews, Joseph Sanchez, Debra Sariñana, Patricia Roybal-Caballero, Sheryl Stapleton and Brian Egolf voting against the measure.
Upon an immediate move following the failed vote by Rep. Miguel Garcia, the House voted 44-26 to revive the failed bill that he voted against. After a short recess for Democrats and Republicans to meet in their respective caucuses, members returned to the chamber and voted to reconsider the measure.
Republican Rep. Paul Bandy urged the House to vote to refer SB-4 to the House Appropriations Committee, as stated in the rules of the New Mexico House of Representatives. However, the measure died on party-lines after a roll call vote. According to Bandy’s reading of the fiscal impact report (FIR) for SB-4, the bill would cost the taxpayers $3 million, which is why he moved for Appropriations to consider it.
SB-4 passed by a vote of 44-26, with Reps. Alcon, Henry Garcia, Miguel Garcia, Herrerra, Matthews, Roybal Caballero, Sanchez, Sariñana, Stapleton, and Egolf changing their votes to YES. Representative Matthew McQueen and Candie Sweetser were the only two Democrats to vote against the measure.
SB-4, as amended, will now go to concurrence, where the Senate and the House will work to agree on the amended language by the House before the measure is moved forward. The current bill does not include language that would allow county clerks to automatically mail absentee voters ballots, but it does include language permanently allowing “declined to state” voters to change their party affiliation on the day of a primary election, while Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians would not be allowed to.