NM Independents Lose Bid for Open Primaries

A plan to amend the state Constitution to let independents vote in primaries was tabled Monday by the House Judiciary Committee.

One of the sponsors, Rep. Moe Maestas, D-Bernalillo, said the proposal (HJR 12) would get more New Mexicans involved in the political process. He cited record low voter turnout and a growing population of independent voters.

“I’m a firm believer in the idea that, if folks vote in the primaries, they’ll also vote in November,” Maestas told members of the Committee.

According to the New Mexico’s Secretary of State’s office, almost 20 percent of New Mexico voters are independents, meaning they declined to state a political party when they registered to vote.

The proposal would have put the question on the ballot in November as a constitutional amendment. Many of the details of exactly how it would work would be left for the Legislature to figure out next year. Read more here.

Above: watch Bob Perls from New Mexico Open Primaries discuss why voters “check out” during election season.

People, Power and Democracy is a collaborative media project between KUNM, New Mexico in Depth, New Mexico News Port and New Mexico PBS that explores the influence of money in New Mexico politics. Support for the project comes from the Thornburg Foundation.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.