Today, November 5, 2019 is election day. It is the first consolidated elections for the City of Albuquerque. The Local Election Act (LEA) was passed by the New Mexico Legislature in 2018. The Local Election Act provides for consolidated local elections to be conducted in New Mexico. The November 5, 2019 ballot is very lengthy and includes 4 City Council elections, $127 million in city general obligation (GO) improvement bonds, continuation of a city road tax, the Albuquerque Public School Board election, a ballot measure for a continuation of a tax levy for APS school maintenance and bonds, and the CNM governing board.
There are also two propositions at the very end of the ballot on the reverse side of the ballot.
PROPOSITION 1: This proposition ostensibly deals with updating the city’s public finance ordinance but in reality, it is misleading in that all it does is increase the amount given to candidates for Mayor with no changes for making it easier to qualify for public finance. Under Proposition 1, the amount given to qualifying candidates would increase from $1.00 to $1.75 per voter, which means public fiancé will go from $380,000 to $665,000 in public finance paid by the city to candidates for Mayor. You can read more about Proposition 1 here:
PROPOSITION 2: This proposition sets up a city funded voucher system to use city general funds to give out $25 vouchers to all residents, not just registered voters, who in turn will give the vouchers to candidates they support. It is likely proposition 2 violates the New Mexico anti-donation clause. The New Mexico Constitution strictly prohibits donations to individuals by governmental entities. The provision provides in pertinent part:
“Neither the state nor any county, school district or municipality, except as otherwise provided in this constitution, shall directly or indirectly lend or pledge its credit or make any donation to or in aid of any person, association or public or private corporation … .” (N.M. Const. art. IX, § 14.)
You can read more about Democracy Dollars here:
NEW MEXICO POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN
Although today is election day, early voting started a few weeks ago. For the last 35+ years, New Mexico political blogger Joe Monahan has had election coverage both on his blog and on the radio the day before the election and election day. This election day is no different. Mr. Monahan provided an update of the voter turnout in his November 5 blog on the 4 city Albuquerque City Council races as follows:
“It appears the new state law consolidating a lot of elections previously held separately will boost voter turnout. Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover reports 51,752 votes had been cast early as of late Monday with some more absentees expected today.
There are 418, 867 registered voters in BernCo. If we get about 32,000 votes today that would make for 84,000 and a turnout of 20 percent. That’s at the upper end of expectations.
There’s been a noticeable spike in turnout for the four contested city council races over 2015. We mean noticeable.
ABQ [has a] … run-off system. Tonight there’s a chance that two city council contests could be decided in a December 10 run-off election between the two top votegetters in each district.
In District 2, mainly in the ABQ Valley, it’s a six way race so a candidate getting to 50 percent and avoiding a run-off is a steep climb. In District 4 in the NE Heights it’s a three candidate race. That one could also go to a run-off. Council Districts 6 and 8 each feature only two candidates and will be decided today.
In District 2 in the ABQ Valley where Councilor Ike Benton is seeking re-election 5,872 early votes have been cast. In 2015 Benton was unopposed so the total vote then was just 2,631. This is a six way race that could be headed to a run-off.
In District 4 there have been 6,367 early votes cast. In ’15 in that NE Heights district all votes cast totaled 4,982. That is a whopping increase in the district being vacated by GOP Councilor Winter. This is a three way race, with Dem Ane Romero trying to turn the district blue against R Brook Bassan. A third candidate Dem Athena Ann Christodoulou is in as well.
In District 6 in the SE Heights Clerk Stover reports 3,790 early votes. In ’15 the total early and Election Day vote was 4,295. Councilor Pat Davis is seeking re-election in the district. He is opposed by attorney Gina Naomi Dennis.
In District 8 in the far NE Heights 8,188 early votes have been cast. In 2015, Republican Councilor Trudy Jones was unopposed and the total vote was only 3,112. She is opposed this year by Dem Maurreen Skowran and that mammoth increase in turnout could bode well for her. The Working Families Party and other progressive groups have targeted the increasingly blue district. We’ll see tonight if the R’s can keep pace.
Turnout here has been trending higher in the Trump years. We’ll know soon if that holds true for this election.
You’re invited to join us for ABQ Election Night coverage beginning at 7 p.m. on KANW 89.1 FM ABQ/Santa Fe and at KANW.COM”
You can read the complete New Mexico Politics With Joe Monahan blog article at this link:
Given today’s political climate, where so many seem to be happy or content to seeing things burn down, President Abraham Lincoln said it best about the importance of voting:
“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”
Please get out and vote today. If you do not vote today, then do not bitch about how bad things are in our community and you can just sit on your blisters.
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