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Voters must show photo ID

DO I NEED A REAL ID TO VOTE? In New Mexico, voters in Albuquerque (and Rio Rancho, Clovis and Hobbs) are required to show ID when casting a ballot in a city election. So now that New Mexico is issuing Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses, some of those voters are wondering if they will have to show a Real ID.

Theodore S. Arrington emails that “Albuquerque city elections require a government-issued picture ID to vote. In the past, a driver’s license fulfilled this requirement. In the future will the city require a Real ID or will the lesser driver’s authorization card be enough? If the latter, then there is no change from the status quo. If, however, a real ID is required, then the right to vote will be substantially limited.”

Theodore expands on this with his wife’s experience trying to get her Real ID license, the $35 for a duplicate birth certificate and the fact “we are college educated, we could figure out all the hoops and navigate them. For many people this is just not a reasonable task in order to retain the right to vote. Riding on an airplane or going into a federal facility is not a right. Voting is a right.”

And Regina Tomlinson chimes in for the un-Real ID group, emailing “if I am asked for identification at a polling place, will a driver’s license labeled ‘not for federal purposes’ be sufficient?


According to the Albuquerque City Charter, Article XIII Section 14, “voters in Albuquerque Municipal Elections identify themselves to the Election Clerk at the polling place with a photo ID. The voter shall provide a form of identification which includes the voter’s name and photograph. Identification with a signature or an address is not required. ONLY THE NAME AND PHOTOGRAPH ARE REQUIRED.

“The following types of identification are accepted: any card issued by a government agency, driver’s license, student identification card, credit or debit card, insurance card, union membership card, professional association card, City Clerk-issued identification.”

The charter goes on to explain that “this is not an exclusive list. As long as the Voter presents an ID with their name, which reasonably matches their voter registration record and a photograph, the ID is acceptable for the purpose of voting.”

It’s similar in Rio Rancho, Clovis and Hobbs, which use the same list as above that starts with “any card issued by a government agency” and ends with “or a voter identification card issued by the (Rio Rancho/Clovis/Hobbs) City Clerk.”

BRING BACK THE SPEED VANS: After a reader recently asked for the red-light cameras to come back, pmontan o2 emails “the speed vans, not the red-light cameras, need to be reinstated. The speeders are getting out of hand – 50 mph in a 30 mph zone – which means lost revenue to the city by not issuing citations for speeding. I am especially concerned about Ouray NW between Coors Road and Ladera Drive. But as I said, speeders are getting out of hand everywhere.”

The Albuquerque Police Department has said to request a speed tactical plan in your area, call 242-COPS or your area substation.

GET AN EXTRA SET OF KEYS: And ezparker opines that “I would think that someone who has to pre-warm the car in the morning might be smart enough to invest a few dollars in an extra key. And the way to use the extra key is to use one key to start the car and lock the doors while the car warms. The extra key would then be used to re-enter the car when they are ready to drive off. It is unlikely a thief would break a window to steal the car because it would probably attract attention to him(/her). And an extra key costs so much less than an extra car!”

CAR SEAT CLINICS COMING UP: From 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Sandia Resort, t he New Mexico Department of Transportation and Safer New Mexico Now will host their annual Child Safety Seat Clinic.

It’s free, and it can save a life.

Safer says in a news release that parents and caregivers will get hands-on instruction from certified child passenger safety technicians who will check if a car seat is installed correctly as well as if it is the right size for the child using it, along with if it has been recalled, is expired or otherwise unsafe.

The clinic will be in the southeast parking lot between C6 and C8, and appointments are encouraged. Call 505-856-6143 to make one, and be sure to bring the child safety seat and, if possible, the child.

Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the Metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858;; or P.O. Drawer J, Albuquerque, N.M. 87103.