Voter ID Requirements & Provisional Voting Rules
Friday, October 12, 2012
(SANTA FE)---In an effort to address misinformation recently disseminated about New Mexico voting laws, Attorney General Gary King today published certain excerpts of law concerning voter identification and provisional voting.
The Attorney General initiated an investigation this week into allegations of voter suppression tactics being used in poll worker training in the Albuquerque area. Two of the central issues that were allegedly being falsely characterized involved voter ID requirements and provisional voting. AG King believes it is important that the public is familiar with voter rights and poll worker obligations under New Mexico law. The following excerpts address both areas.
The Attorney General affirms that voters are generally not required to show their photo ID in order to vote. NMSA 1978, § 1-1-24 states that identification may be achieved by providing a verbal or written statement of the voter’s name, year of birth and address at which they are registered to vote. While the voter may also choose to provide (1) an original or copy of a current and valid photo identification, (2) a voter identification card or (3) an original or copy of a utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, student identification card or other government document, including identification issued by an Indian nation, tribe or pueblo that shows the name and address of the person, a verbal statement will still suffice.
Only a limited group of individuals who registered for the first time by mail will be required to show their physical ID. A voter who does not provide the required voter identification to the election judge is not precluded from voting, but must vote on a provisional paper ballot in accordance with the provisions of Section 1-12-7.1, NMSA 1978.
Section 1-12-8, NMSA 1978 provides that a person shall be permitted to vote on a provisional paper ballot even though the person’s original certificate of registration cannot be found in the county register or even if the person’s name does not appear on the signature roster. A voter shall also vote on a provisional paper ballot if the voter has not previously voted in a general election in New Mexico.
Voter suppression or any type of infringement upon the free elective process is a violation of the Election Code and may be punished criminally.