Bipartisan election bill clears Senate on 39-0 vote - Albuquerque Journal

Bipartisan election bill clears Senate on 39-0 vote

A ballot drop box sits near the Main Post Office in Santa Fe on Wednesday. Legislation under consideration by the state Senate would set out new rules for monitored, secured containers where people can drop off their ballot. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

SANTA FE — A proposal to update New Mexico’s voting laws and establish new rules for poll challengers won approval 39-0 in the state Senate on Thursday — a rare point of broad bipartisan agreement on election legislation.

The measure, Senate Bill 6, would require counties to use voter convenience centers that allow voters to cast ballots at any polling location and impose an 11 p.m. halt to absentee-vote counting on election night, among other changes.

It also requires training for poll watchers and challengers and imposes some limits on their activities. State elections officials would establish a new program intended to maintain accurate voting rolls.

No senator voted against the bill, which heads next to the state House.

“If we listen to each other, respect each other as we go through a process, we can have a bill on a divisive issue that has unanimous support of this chamber,” said Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, an Albuquerque Democrat and co-sponsor of the bill.

Sen. Crystal Diamond, a Elephant Butte Republican and co-sponsor, said the bill strengthens “the transparency of our election laws.”

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