SANTA FE – Two bills proposed by House Democrats aiming to change the voting process in New Mexico are scheduled for debate on Wednesday. One bill would allow felons to vote while still in prison while another would allow for the state’s voters to be ignored in presidential elections. Both measures contain significant problems that will disenfranchise New Mexico’s voters.
“These radical bills are pushed by out-of-state interests designed to ensure voters in New Mexico have less of a voice,” said Rep. Bill Rehm (R-Albuquerque.) “New Mexicans need to know what House Democrats are trying to do before they find their vote is diminished.”
House Bill 57 (HB 57) is proposed to “restore felon voting rights.” However, current law allows those convicted of a felony to regain voting rights after they have successfully completed their sentence. Under this bill, “convicted felons” includes those who are still incarcerated; even those convicted of election related felonies would be allowed to vote. HB 57 would also raise serious residency concerns, as it is unclear in what district an inmate would reside.
House Bill 55 (HB 55) would require New Mexico to cast electoral votes for the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote, no matter the will of the state’s voters. The result would mean any U.S. city with a population of more than 2 million would have more impact on an election than all New Mexico voters together. Instead of working to change the Electoral College rule of the U.S. Constitution, out-of-state interests are working to circumvent this process and diminish the votes of New Mexicans through questionable actions such as HB 55.