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Mobile unit brings ballot box to senior facilities

A mobile voting unit with 15 stations is set to debut for the upcoming 2018 general election. The mobile unit is the first of its kind in the Southwest, according to Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover. (Courtesy of Mobile Voting Precinct)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A mobile voting unit will give Bernalillo County residents who live in senior facilities more access to the ballot box for the upcoming general election.

Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover told commissioners during a meeting last week that election workers will place the mobile voting unit at or near a different senior facility each day during the early voting period.

But all registered Bernalillo County voters are welcome to use the unit to cast their vote.

“This is a project I had in mind long before I ran for office,” Stover told commissioners. “I think this will be a great asset for seniors to come out of the facility they live in. They may not be taken to the polls. Sometimes they get disenfranchised at no fault of their own and they’ll be able to vote in person.”

The 38-foot unit, manufactured by New Bern, N.C.-based Printelect, will contain 15 voting stations and a two-person registration desk. The unit is accessible to people with disabilities, and a voting system is available to help disabled voters cast and record their vote.

An onboard generator allows computers and tabulators to be powered at all times.

“To my knowledge, this is the first mobile voting unit of this kind offered in the Southwest,” Stover said. ” I hope it grows to be offered to all throughout New Mexico after its introduction during the general election.”

Stover told commissioners a schedule is yet to be determined.

“We’ll advertise it,” she said. “We’ll make it very well known that it’s available to all citizens who want to come and vote.”

Funding for the unit will come out of the county clerk’s budget, Stover said.

Early voting takes place from Oct. 10 to Nov. 3. Election Day is Nov. 6.

The last day to register to vote for the general election is Oct. 9.

Mobile voting unit. (Courtesy if Mobile Voting Precinct)