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Clovis city commissioners pass voter ID requirement

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — During Thursday’s regular meeting the Clovis City Commission passed a voter ID requirement for municipal elections by a vote of 7-1, with the lone dissenting vote cast by Commissioner Robert Sandoval.

The voter ID ordinance was introduced during the May 5 meeting, following the March municipal election in which 72.7 percent of Clovis voters favored creation of the ordinance.

As approved, city code 1.06.010 was a mixture of similar voter ID regulations from Albuquerque, Rio Rancho and Hobbs. Sandoval said voters taking a stance against the voter ID initiative were not heard by the commission, hence his decision to be the sole dissenter.

“I invited about 50 people to a meeting on Nov. 30,” he said. “They were very eloquent in expressing their displeasure with the voter picture ID proposal. The commission paid absolutely no attention to them and one of the commissioners chewed (out) one of the taxpayers who had a difference of opinion. You don’t talk to your constituents that way and I still feel they were owed an apology. I voted the way I did as a matter of principle. All of the people I brought were completely ignored and that is why I voted the way I did.”

Clovis Mayor David Lansford extended kudos to the commission members who crafted the finer points of the ordinance in the form of Commissioners Ladona Clayton, Sandra Taylor-Sawyer, Chris Bryant and Sandoval.

“I think this has been reviewed by a number of people and even reviewed against other cities that have an ordinance similar to this,” Clovis Mayor David Lansford said. “I appreciate the committee. Thanks to all of you for getting this done expeditiously.”

The ordinance reads, in part:

* A voter who approaches the polling place must identify himself or herself audibly. The clerk for that site will then locate the name and ask for one current identification card with the voter’s name and photograph.

* Acceptable identification includes any card issued by a government agency, a passport, driver’s license, student identification card, state-issued identification card, insurance card, union card, professional association card or a voter identification card issued by the city clerk, so long as it includes a photograph of the voter.

* Voters unable to provide photo identification shall vote on a conditional ballot. They must affirm in writing, under penalty of perjury, their identification and provide either their birthdate or last four digits of their Social Security number. Conditional ballots must be checked during canvassing to make sure no person voted multiple times.

* City-issued voter identification cards will be available without charge to any voter who provides two documents that show the voter’s name and address. Acceptable documents include paychecks, utility bills and bank statements.

* The voter identification requirement only applies to municipal elections.

In other meeting actions:

* The commission voted unanimously to promote Claire Burroughes and Vicki Reyes and add some responsibilities for LeighAnn Melancon, following the May retirement of Budget and Internal Operations Director Don Clifton.

Burroughes is now the assistant city manager — the first since Joe Thomas, who was promoted to city manager in 2004. Her former position was legislative and community development director.

Burroughes’ annual salary increases from $78,686.40 ($96,595.40 with benefits) to $94,460 ($116,156.10 with benefits).

Reyes remains an administrative assistant but takes over Burroughes’ responsibilities and title as assistant city clerk. She receives a raise from $29,120 ($43,488.03 with benefits) to $31,116.80 ($45,936.31 with benefits)

Melancon’s salary increases from $92,227.20 ($120,863.77 with benefits) to $93,600 ($122,46.96 with benefits).

With the elimination of Clifton’s salary of $100,924.40 ($131,549.48 with benefits), the city will see annual savings of $107,857.30, officials said.

Specific job duties are yet to be finalized.

* On behalf of the City Commission, Lansford presented keys to the city to Miss Rodeo America Katherine Merck, Miss Rodeo New Mexico Staci Trehern and Miss Rodeo Arizona Alanna Hamilton in recognition of the Miss Rodeo New Mexico Pageant.

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©2016 the Clovis News Journal (Clovis, N.M.)

Visit the Clovis News Journal (Clovis, N.M.) at www.cnjonline.com

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