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F I S C A L I M P A C T R E P O R T
SPONSOR Madalena
ORIGINAL DATE
LAST UPDATED
1-30-06
HB 425
SHORT TITLE NATIVE AMERICAN VOTER EDUCATION
SB
ANALYST Hadwiger
APPROPRIATION (dollars in thousands)
Appropriation
Recurring
or Non-Rec
Fund
Affected
FY06
FY07
$150.0
Non-Rec
General Fund
(Parenthesis ( ) Indicate Expenditure Decreases)
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
LFC Files
Responses Received From
Secretary of State (SOS)
Department of Finance and Administration (DFA)
Department of Indian Affairs (DIA)
SUMMARY
Synopsis of Bill
House Bill 425 appropriates $150 thousand from the general fund to the Local Government Divi-
sion (LGD) of the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) for expenditure in FY06
and FY07 to assist county clerks in efforts to provide voter education to Native Americans in
Bernalillo, Cibola, McKinley, Otero, Rio Arriba, San Juan, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Socorro, Taos
and Valencia counties.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS
The appropriation of $150 thousand contained in this bill is a non-recurring expense to the gen-
eral fund. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of FY07 would revert
to the general fund.
SIGNIFICANT ISSUES
The Department of Indian Affairs (DIA) noted that, according to the Secretary of State, there
pg_0002
House Bill 425 Page 2
were 57,228 registered Native American voters in New Mexico as of November, 2004, repre-
senting a small percentage of Native Americans eligible to vote in New Mexico.
According to the 2000 U.S. Census, there are about 200,000 Native Americans in New Mexico.
DIA noted that, although the numbers of Native American voters may have increased during the
last presidential election, there is still a large population of New Mexican Native Americans that
do not vote. In the past, language barriers and other significant problems have deterred eligible
Native Americans from participating in the voting process. HB425 would address the important
need to educate, coordinate and allow tribal governments and tribal communities to play a vital
role in increasing the numbers of New Mexican Native American voters.
DFA indicated that, starting in 1978, the Office of the Secretary of State in New Mexico estab-
lished a program to assist Native Americans in the electoral process. Native American interpret-
ers were hired to translate state election documents in various NM tribal language dialects. These
interpreters also informed tribal members about voter information and candidate requirements
needed during an election. This is a state level program; HB 425 provides funding at the local
level where the counties have been absorbing the expense of voter education. The funds would
be utilized at the local level for fliers, radio and TV time to inform and educate the Native
American population in the eleven counties identified in HB 425.
DFA added that In 1988, the Department of Justice, took legal action in New Mexico to extend
greater election information to Native Americans based on the minority language assistance
amendments to the Federal Voting Rights Act of 1965. As a result, the Native American Elec-
tion Information Program was established in the Office of the Secretary of State, within the Bu-
reau of Elections, to assist in developing voter education projects for 11 New Mexico counties
with substantial Native American populations: Bernalillo, Cibola, McKinley, Otero, Rio Arriba,
Sandoval, San Juan, Santa Fe, Socorro, Taos, and Valencia. Over the years, Native American
Education Information Program (NAEIP) has served New Mexico tribes and its tribal members.
ADMINISTRATIVE IMPLICATIONS
LGD/DFA would enter in grant agreements with the identified entities to administer these funds.
TECHNICAL ISSUES
The entities that administer these funds should coordinate their efforts with existing statewide
efforts.
DFA notes that it is not clear how the funds should be allocated among the affected entities.
DH/nt