On Friday, the Senate Rules Committee passed a bill, S.B. 412, brought forth by Sen. Carrie Hamblen (D-Doña Ana) to lower the voting age in New Mexico state and local elections. Although the original proposal listed the minimum age of 16 to be a qualified elector, the committee amended the bill to the age of 17.
During committee, Sen. Hamblen brought forth two high school-aged “witnesses” who emphatically endorsed the bill. One of them claimed the bill was “a vaccine for our political atmosphere.”
The other witness claimed, “to not pass this bill is to invalidate me” when they were at the age of 16 and 17. The student also claimed people who had access to voting “tokenize me for my youth.”
The committee sped through the bill in fewer than 20 minutes of committee time, with only a motion from Sen. Mark Moores (R-Sandoval) to remove the provision for 16-year-olds to vote and make it 17-year-olds. The motion passed on a vote of 6-3.
The final vote on the committee for passage was 7-2, with Moores voting with all the Democrats on the committee to advance the bill. Sen. Linda Lopez (D-Bernalillo) claimed she supported 16-year-olds being able to vote because, “When I was a senior in high school, I was sixteen, and I think I could make some pretty good decisions at that time,” she claimed.
Radical far-left dark money groups, including OLÉ, NM Café, NM Dream Team, billionaire Mike Bloomberg’s Moms Demand Action, among others, and are already rallying behind the bills, which would likely add around 50,000 underaged voters on the rolls, according to the fiscal impact report (FIR) for S.B. 412.
The proposal now goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee chaired by Sen. Joseph Cervantes (D-Doña Ana).