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City Hall

News and notes from City Hall, Bernalillo County and local politics

County Prepares New Voting System

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Bernalillo County wants voters to be ready for a new way of casting ballots on Election Day.

Starting with the June primary, the county will employ “My Vote Centers” in which voters can cast ballots at any location rather than being tied to one precinct on Election Day, County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver said Friday. The concept is similar to early voting.

“Simply put, there will be no wrong place to vote,” Oliver said.

There will be nearly 70 voting locations on Election Day rather than the usual 170 or so. The city of Albuquerque used a similar system in last year’s municipal election.

The county is launching an information campaign to get people used to the idea.

The county website, bernco.gov, now features a link at the top for “My Vote Center.” Voters can enter their name and birth date to pull up customized information on which districts they’re in and whether they’re eligible to vote in the primary, which is only for Republicans and Democrats.

Plugging in an address will reveal which vote centers are closest, along with driving directions to them. Clicking on the link for a particular voting location will also provide wait times, so people can see which places are busiest, Oliver said.

The first early-voting location, at 620 Lomas NW, will open May 8. The primary election is June 5.

Oliver said the move to voter centers rather than traditional precincts will save money and make voting more convenient.

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