Voting & Elections
Information on Voting and Elections in the State of New Mexico.
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Voting and Elections
Voters with Disabilities FAQ’s
What options does a person with a visual impairment have if they wish to vote independently and privately in New Mexico?
A person with a visual impairment has the option of requesting a visually impaired absentee ballot or voting at a polling location. If you choose a visually impaired ballot, you will need access to screen reading software to fill out an electronic ballot, and a printer to print the ballot. If you choose to vote at a polling location, you may ask for assistance if needed or use an accessible voting machine.
What is a visually impaired ballot?
A visually impaired ballot is an absentee ballot designed for use with adaptive technology such as nonvisual access or low vision access. It is NOT a braille nor a large print ballot.
Who is eligible to apply for a visually impaired ballot?
Visually impaired ballots are designed for anyone with a visual impairment who has access to an adaptive technology. Keep in mind that when you apply for a visually impaired absentee ballot, you are attesting to a visual impairment and making the statement under penalty of perjury pursuant to federal law.
How does the visually impaired ballot process work?
The online absentee ballot application system has been updated to make it accessible by screen readers and includes an option to indicate that the voter requires a visually impaired ballot. The paper application also contains a check box for this type of ballot.
Once the absentee ballot is accepted, the county clerk will email the voter a link to their electronic ballot. In addition, the county clerk will mail the voter the outer envelope and inner envelope. The voter will be able to read and fill out the ballot using their screen reader, print it out, and return it in the envelope provided by the county clerk.
Visually impaired ballots are counted by hand as they cannot be fed into the tabulator.
I have a print disability, what are my options?
Voters with print disabilities have the option of requesting to use of the accessible voting equipment at any polling location, or utilizing their right to have someone assist them. Designated election workers at the polling place can assist you. You may also bring someone to help you vote. This person cannot be your employer, an agent of your employer, an agent or officer of your union, nor a candidate on the ballot
I have requested a visually impaired ballot but have not received the link to my ballot via email, what should I do?
Visually impaired ballots are classed as absentee ballots and cannot be sent out until 28 days prior to an election. If you have not received your emailed ballot within two days of the request AND it is within 28 days of an election, contact your county clerk to get the email re-sent to you. Before contacting your local county clerk, please double check your spam folder.
I have requested a visually impaired ballot but have not received my return envelopes, what should I do?
If it has been more than a week since you received the link to your ballot, contact your local county clerk and they will mail you an envelope.
I am visually impaired and use a screen reader, what recommendations do you have in terms of programs/software?
Visually impaired ballots are designed to work with most screen readers and adaptive technology. We recommend making sure that your software is fully up to date for the best compatibility with your ballot.
What does the accessible voting machine allow you to do?
Each polling place is equipped with accessible voting equipment which anyone can use. Simply, speak to a poll official to let them know your preference.
The Accessible Voting Session (AVS) allow you to do the following:
- View the ballot paper and large LCD screen.
- Change screen color scheme, contrast, and font size.
- Use headphones to allow the system to read the ballot to you, using the tactile interface.
- Use an integrated ballot marking device that does not require the voter to manipulate the ballot and has low force buttons for voter interface.
I have a mental disability or am under a conservatorship can I still vote?
Yes. The Constitution of New Mexico only places restrictions on “persons who are unable to mark their ballot and who are concurrently also unable to communicate their voting preference.” If you can mark your ballot or tell someone how to mark your ballot, you can vote.
I am currently confined in a nursing home or other healthcare facility; can I still vote?
Yes. You can request an absentee ballot.
I have had a medical emergency and it is too late to request an absentee ballot and I am unable to attend the polls in person. How can I vote?
An emergency provisional ballot can be issued in some cases. You will need to provide a written request for an absentee ballot, to your local county clerk, that is signed by you and your healthcare provider under penalty of perjury. Once the request is processed and a ballot is issued, your authorized representative can bring your ballot to you and return it to the clerk’s office or polling location on your behalf. For more information about this process please contact your County Clerk’s office.
What can I do if I think my rights are being violated at a polling location?
If you are experiencing difficulties while voting at a polling site, you can ask a poll worker for help or ask for the presiding judge. If your issues are not resolved, you can contact your county clerk’s office or call the Secretary of State’s office at 505-827-3600 and select Option 2 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Regular Local Election: November 2, 2021