HOUSE BILL 231
55th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2021
Georgene Louis and D. Wonda Johnson and Derrick J. Lente
and Anthony Allison and Benny Shendo, Jr.
RELATING TO ELECTIONS; PROVIDING PROTECTIONS FOR POLLING LOCATIONS ON INDIAN NATION, TRIBAL OR PUEBLO LAND; REQUIRING THE AGREEMENT OF AN INDIAN NATION, TRIBE OR PUEBLO TO CLOSE OR CONSOLIDATE POLLING LOCATIONS; MAKING TECHNICAL CHANGES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 1-3-4 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1975, Chapter 255, Section 30, as amended) is amended to read:
"1-3-4. CONSOLIDATION OF PRECINCTS--VOTER CONVENIENCE CENTERS.--
A. The board of county commissioners may permit voters in the county to cast ballots in statewide elections at voter convenience centers through the use of consolidated precincts authorized pursuant to this section.
B. When precincts are consolidated and voter convenience centers are established for statewide elections:
(1) the resolution required by Section 1-3-2 NMSA 1978, in addition to the other matters required by law, shall state therein which precincts have been consolidated and the location of the voter convenience center within that consolidated precinct;
(2) any voter of the county shall be allowed to vote on a regular ballot at any voter convenience center in the county;
(3) each voter convenience center shall be a consolidated precinct composed of no more than ten precincts;
(4) each voter convenience center shall comply with the provisions of Section 1-3-7 NMSA 1978;
(5) each voter convenience center shall have a broadband internet connection and real-time access to the voter registration electronic management system;
(6) the county clerk may maintain any alternate voting locations or mobile alternate voting locations previously used in the same election open for voting on election day as a voter convenience center, in addition to the voter convenience center established within each consolidated precinct; provided that the locations otherwise meet the requirements of a voter convenience center; and
(7) the board of county commissioners may permit certain precincts to be exempted from operating as a voter convenience center or being a part of a consolidated precinct; provided that if the precinct is not designated as a mail ballot election precinct pursuant to Section 1-6-22.1 NMSA 1978 and the polling place for that precinct does not have real-time access to the voter registration electronic management system, voters registered in a precinct as described in this paragraph are permitted to vote at any voter convenience center on election day only by use of a provisional paper ballot, which shall be counted after the county clerk confirms that the voter did not also vote in the same election on any other ballot.
C. Unless the county clerk receives a written waiver from the secretary of state specifying the location and specific provision being waived, each voter convenience center shall:
(1) have ballots available for voters from every precinct authorized to vote at that voter convenience center;
(2) have at least one optical scan tabulator programmed to read every ballot style able to be cast at that voter convenience center;
(3) have at least one voting system available to assist disabled voters to cast and record their votes;
(4) have sufficient spaces for at least five voters to simultaneously and privately mark their ballots, with at least one of those spaces wheelchair-accessible;
(5) have sufficient check-in stations to accommodate voters throughout the day as provided in Section 1-9-5 NMSA 1978;
(6) have a secure area for storage of preprinted ballots or for storage of paper ballot stock and a system designed to print ballots at a polling location;
(7) issue a ballot to voters who have provided the required voter identification after the voter has signed a signature roster or an electronic equivalent approved by the voting system certification committee or after the voter has subscribed an application to vote on a form approved by the secretary of state; and
(8) be in a location that is accessible and compliant with the requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
D. A polling place located on Indian nation, tribal or pueblo land shall not be closed or consolidated with other polling locations without the written agreement of the Indian nation, tribe or pueblo where the polling location is located. If, as a result of public health concerns, voters registered within the Indian nation, tribe or pueblo are unable to leave the Indian nation, tribe or pueblo during the time when voting occurs, regardless of whether voters residing outside the boundaries of the Indian nation, tribe or pueblo are able to access such polling locations, there shall be at least one polling location within the boundaries of the Indian nation, tribe or pueblo.
[D.] E. As a prerequisite to consolidation, the authorizing resolution must find that consolidation will make voting more convenient and accessible to voters of the consolidated precinct and will not result in delays for voters in the voting process and that the voter convenience center will be centrally located within the consolidated precinct. The board of county commissioners shall give due consideration to input received from any local public body in the county regarding the location of voter convenience centers."
SECTION 2. Section 1-6-5.8 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2009, Chapter 251, Section 2, as amended) is amended to read:
"1-6-5.8. EARLY VOTING--NATIVE AMERICAN EARLY VOTING
LOCATIONS.--A county clerk shall provide at least one alternate voting or mobile alternate voting location on Indian nation, tribal or pueblo land when requested by the Indian nation, tribe or pueblo in the county; provided that:
A. the Indian nation, tribe or pueblo submits a written request to the county clerk no later than [the first Monday in November of each odd-numbered year] one hundred days before each statewide election;
B. the alternate voting or mobile alternate voting location may operate for less than the full early voting period, to be decided upon between the Indian nation, tribe or pueblo and the county clerk;
C. any voter of the county shall have access to and be permitted to vote at the alternate voting or mobile alternate voting location;
D. the location of the alternate voting or mobile alternate voting location on Indian nation, tribal or pueblo land conforms to the requirements for alternate voting locations, except as specified in this section;
E. the county clerk provides federally mandated language translators at the alternate voting or mobile alternate voting locations;
F. the Indian nation, tribe or pueblo provides the facility and services for the alternate voting or mobile alternate voting location; and
G. the costs of voting equipment and personnel for the alternate voting or mobile alternate voting locations on Indian nation, tribal or pueblo land pursuant to this section are reimbursed to the county by the secretary of state."
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