New Mexico, the transition to paper ballots

Yesterday, a group monitored New Mexico precincts in Santa Fe, Bernalillo and Dona Ana Counties. We’ll eventually have much more to say about our observations and our recommendations on how New Mexico can improve their voting process.

The biggest story concerned a lack of ballots in two Bernalillo precincts, which we did get monitors to in the late afternoon. Here is what is now in the Santa Fe New Mexican on the two ballots that lacked ballots:

In the Bernalillo County ballot snafu, clerks originally were told they’d get enough ballots for all registered voters, but were notified last week that the numbers were reduced based on absentee and early voting, Herrera said. She said her office complained that cutting back was a bad idea.

A spokesman for Vigil-Giron told The Albuquerque Tribune that insufficient ballots in two Bernalillo County precincts apparently resulted from a dropped zero. Precincts that should have received 1,500 and 1,700 ballots received 150 and 170, respectively.

According to this story, ballots were available in these precincts within two hours.

When we were able to get to these two precincts, they did have ballots … but lines were long. We timed the wait from arrival to deposit of ballot in the voting box at approximately 35 minutes during the worst of the waiting.