New Mexico Supreme Court weighs automated one-party voting

 

SANTA FE, N.M. — The New Mexico Supreme Court is considering whether voters should be allowed to select candidates from a particular party in all races by marking a single ballot box.

The court was scheduled to hear oral arguments Monday in a request to prohibit straight-party voting on November ballots.

Democratic Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver has announced plans to provide a straight-party option for the first time since 2010. Democrats dominate voter registration rolls statewide.

Critics of that plan include the Republican and Libertarian parties, advocates for independent candidates and even some Democrats. They say lawmakers already struck the straight party voting language from state statutes and that the practice would violate the rights of independent and minor-party candidates.

Toulouse Oliver says the straight-party option simplifies and speeds-up voting.

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