In New Mexico, Only Absentee Ballots That Reach County Clerks By 7 p.m. When The Polls Close Will Be Counted; Hand Deliver Absentee Ballot Or Vote In Person

“This process of election affords a moral certainty that the office of President will seldom fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.”

President Thomas Jefferson

“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt

“I think it’s a terrible thing when ballots can be collected after an election. I think it’s a terrible thing when people or states are allowed to tabulate ballots for a long period of time after the election is over because it can only lead to one thing. … We’re going to go in the night of — as soon as the election is over — we’re going in with our lawyers.”

President Donald Trump


According to the Associated Press, as of Monday, November 2, early votes have exceeded 98.8 million primarily the result of states expanding their rules to allow more voters to cast a mail-in ballot or vote early in person as a precaution against Covid-19. More than two-thirds of the total votes in 2016 have already been cast in the 2020 election. That is 1.7 times as much as the early vote total in 2016 which was 58.8 million votes.

In New Mexico, it’s no different. According to secretary of state Maggie Toulouse Oliver, absentee ballots has pushed participation in this year’s general election to 57% of registered voters. More than 770,000 votes have been cast which is equal to roughly 92% of the votes in the entire 2008 general election, the state’s record.

New Mexico political observer Brian Sanderoff, the president of Research & Polling Inc. said:

“About 48.4% of votes have been cast by registered Democrats, who have a big lead over Republicans when it comes to absentee voting … and about 34.7% of votes have been cast by Republicans, who have an edge when it comes to in-person voting.”

According to the Secretary of State’s Office, Democrats make up about 45.2% of the state’s more than 1.3 million registered voters, while Republicans make up roughly 31.3%.


Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver said that it is “perfectly normal for vote counting to continue past election night”. According to Toulouse Oliver, the canvassing process to certify the official results typically takes a few weeks and she said: .

“We want to make sure we’re giving everybody a clear picture of what we’re seeing on election night. … I’m feeling optimistic that we should be able to get through the absentee vote within a day or two after Election Day.”


Despite the likely delay in tabulating all votes on election day, Trump and his staunches supporters are insisting that the election’s result need to be known on election night. They do not and historically have not. Trump is so self-centered, so desperate to hold onto power, he wants to disenfranchise anyone who does not physically vote on election day at a polling station.

The nightmare scenario is Trump will declare victory on election night and order his party to contest the election results in the battleground states by challenging the mail in ballot votes. The Republican party is already gearing up to file suit to prevent the certification of the election results in the battleground states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio.

The danger of an undemocratic outcome on November 3 is very real. If there is no clear-cut winner on election night, with Biden narrowly ahead in the electoral college but with one or more of the states of Michigan, North Carolina, Florida, Arizona and Texas still too close to call, the United States democracy will be near a full-scale meltdown or near a civil war in the streets.

One of the most certain ways the nightmare scenario cannot occur is if Trump in fact loses the election by numbers too large to contest. When they say this is the most important election of our lifetime, that is not at all an exaggeration.

Some states allow ballots postmarked by Election Day to be tallied.

In New Mexico, only ballots that reach New Mexico’s county clerks by 7 p.m. when the polls close will be counted.

If you have not mailed in your absentee ballot, hand deliver it to a polling station or vote in person.

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Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.