The Voter Action Act (“VAA”) provides certain candidates with an opportunity to apply for public funds to finance their campaigns. The funds are held by the state treasury in the public election fund (“the Fund”) and disbursed to certified candidates after their certification. Candidates who qualify for and receive a distribution of funds under the VAA are subject to the Campaign Practices Act, as well as some additional requirements under the VAA. Specifically, candidates who are applying for public financing may not collect contributions not specifically authorized by the VAA and candidates certified to receive public financing may not collect contributions from sources other than the Fund. Certified candidates will receive two distributions from the Fund; one for the primary election and one for the general election.
The VAA applies to statewide judicial elections (New Mexico Supreme Court Justices and New Mexico Court of Appeals Judges) and the office of Public Regulation Commissioner. The VAA specifically excludes judicial retention elections from eligibility for public financing.
The following covered offices are eligible to apply for public financing in the 2016 election cycle:
- Justice of the Supreme Court
- Judge of the Court of Appeals
- Public Regulation Commissioner – District #1
- Public Regulation Commissioner – District #3
Our office will assist candidates and/or their campaign treasurers with the Voter Action Act process. If you have elected to pursue public financing, we strongly suggest you review the VAA as well as this guide before beginning the process of public financing. You are welcome to contact the Secretary of State’s Bureau of Elections for further information.
If you have any questions, please contact our Ethics Division, they can provide you with the required forms, and assist with any questions regarding application procedures.
NM Secretary of State’s Office – Ethics Division contact information:
Telephone: (505) 827-3600 / (800) 477-3632
Voter Action Act Forms