Democratic candidates praise early voting turn out, encourage people to vote Tuesday
Democractic voters outpacing GOP counterparts so far
FARMINGTON — Early voting has surged in New Mexico during this year's midterm elections.
Statewide, 430,796 people have already cast ballots and 86,485 more Democrats have voted than Republicans, according to numbers from the New Mexico Secretary of State's Office.
"Early voting numbers are spectacular," U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., said during a campaign event Sunday morning in Farmington. "If you look at the partisan breakdown, it looks really good."
Heinrich is running against Republican Mick Rich and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.
"It's been an honor to have such strong support from people all over New Mexico, but especially here in San Juan County," U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., said. "We're seeing early vote levels that are exceeding even presidential levels in many parts of America, but New Mexico is leading the way."
Lujan faces Republican Jerald Steve McFall and Libertarian Chris Manning.
The midterm elections tend to attract fewer voters than the presidential elections. During the 2014 midterm election, about 261,000 New Mexicans voted early or absentee before the election, according to The Daily Times archives.
This year's early voting numbers are closer to the 2016 presidential election, when 456,762 New Mexicans voted early and 76,476 cast absentee ballots, according to numbers from the New Mexico Secretary of State's Office.
Thousands of San Juan County residents have already voted
More than 19,500 San Juan County residents already have voted. Of those, 17,917 voted early in person at one of the polling locations. The other 1,585 voters cast absentee ballots.
While statewide more people voted early this year than in 2016, San Juan County had more early voters in 2016 than this year. There were 24,547 people who voted early in 2016, and 2,496 absentee ballots were cast.
Of the 19,502 people who already have cast ballots in San Juan County, 11,479 of them were Republican, and 5,721 were Democrats.
There are 72,963 registered voters in San Juan County, and about 26.7 percent of those registered voters already have cast ballots.
Candidates encourage people to vote Tuesday
Democratic candidates said the large Democratic Party voter turnout is a good sign, but they emphasized the need to get people who haven't voted yet to the polls on Tuesday.
Land Commission candidate Stephanie Garcia Richard told people to talk to "reluctant voters."
"They must show up on Tuesday," she said.
Garcia Richard wore a shirt with the names of Democratic candidates, including gubernatorial candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham, Heinrich and Lujan.
"I think this might be the strongest slate we've ever had," she said.
Garcia Richard is running against Republican Patrick Lyons.
State House of Representatives candidates Anthony Allison and Mary "MP" Schildmeyer, as well as state Supreme Court candidate Michael Vigil, magistrate judge candidate Trudy Chase and public education commission candidate Georgina Davis, also attended the event.
Allison is running against Republican Sharon Clahchischilliage and Schildmeyer is running against Republican Paul Bandy. Vigil is running against Republican Gary Clingman, who was appointed to the position earlier this year. Chase is running against Republican Melvin Sam. Davis is unopposed in her race for the Public Education Commission.
Several Republican candidates, including gubernatorial candidate Steve Pearce, visited Farmington on Oct. 27 to encourage people to vote. During the event, Pearce said he anticipates a close race for governor and believes it will come down to a margin of 10,000 votes.
Lujan Grisham leads Pearce in the polls
A new poll released Saturday by The Albuquerque Journal shows Lujan Grisham leading Pearce. While Lujan Grisham said that poll is encouraging, she said it is just one way to measure support, and she doesn't use polls to form her strategy.
"The strategy's always getting the vote out and having a really good field operation," she said. "You're seeing that play out right here. If you want to encourage voters to vote, you have to go talk to them and ask them for their vote."
Where to vote
Voting convenience centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.
- Aztec Masonic Lodge
- Beclabito Chapter Facilities
- Blanco Fire Station
- Bloomfield City Hall
- Bloomfield Cultural Center
- Brooks-Isham Performing Arts Center
- Central Consolidated School District business office
- Cedar Hill Fire Station
- Crystal Chapter Facilities
- Farmington City Hall
- Farmington Civic Center
- Farmington Museum at Gateway Park
- Farmington Public Library
- Flora Vista Fire Station
- Gadii'ahi Chapter Facilities
- Huerfano Chapter Facilities
- Kirtland Youth Association
- La Plata Community Center
- Lake Valley School
- McGee Park
- Nageezi Chapter Facilities
- Nenanhezad Chapter Facilities
- Naschitti Chapter Facilities
- Newcomb Fire Station
- Phil Thomas Performance Hall
- Piñon Hills Community Church
- Piñon Hills Seventh Day Adventist Church
- Sheep Springs Chapter Facilities
- San Juan County Fire Operations Center
- Sycamore Park Community Center
- Tiis Tso Sikaad Chapter Facilities (Burnham)
- Tse alnaozt'i'i Chapter Facilities (Sanostee)
- Two Grey Hills Chapter Facilities
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at email@example.com.