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Fact check: No, the governor is not shutting down voting Oct. 15

Michael McDevitt Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
A voting booth is seen at the Farmington Museum on Nov. 5, 2019, Election Day.

SANTA FE — Despite social media rumors which spread Wednesday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will not be shutting down in-person voting on Oct. 15.

Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver's office made a statement Oct. 7 debunking the rumors, which reportedly originated on Facebook.

 "We received reports today of a post on Facebook by a local New Mexico group claiming that Governor Lujan Grisham was planning to shut down polling locations throughout the state on October 15, 2020," the Secretary of State's Office said. "This information is completely false."

Some people on Twitter also shared the false information. It wasn't immediately clear which New Mexico group originally made the false claim.

"Though it’s unfortunate that only a day after the start of early voting in New Mexico we are already seeing misinformation, it provides a good opportunity to remind the public to be extra vigilant about any voting or election information that does not come from a verified source like your county clerk or my Office," the statement reads.

The office said it reports misinformation to "representatives from all the major social media platforms, as well as with our federal partners like the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency."

For those who would like to vote early in person, voting at the San Juan County Clerk's Office, at 100 S. Oliver Drive in Aztec, began Oct. 6. People can vote there early from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays through Oct. 16. On Oct. 17, the hours to vote at the clerk's office will be extended to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays. Those hours will continue through the end of early voting on Oct. 31.

A sign outside the San Juan County Clerk's office in Aztec alerts citizens about the availability of early voting.

In addition to extending the voting hours at the clerk's office, additional locations will open for voters on Oct. 17. Those locations will be open for voting from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays.

Here are the alternate early voting sites.

  • Farmington Museum at Gateway Park, 3041 E. Main St. in Farmington
  • Farmington Public Library, 2101 Farmington Ave. in Farmington
  • Bloomfield Cultural Center, 333 S. 1st St. in Bloomfield
  • The Old Shiprock High School A-Gym located in the Central Consolidated School District Business Offices south of U.S. Highway 64 in Shiprock
  • Newcomb Fire Station

Absentee voting by mail is also available. Voters can request an absentee ballot online at nmvote.org or through the County Clerk's Office. The phone number for the San Juan County Clerk's Office is 505-334-9471. Absentee ballots must be requested by 5 p.m. Oct. 20.

Michael McDevitt is a city and county government reporter for the Sun-News. He can be reached at 575-202-3205, mmcdevitt@lcsun-news.com or @MikeMcDTweets on Twitter.

The Daily Times reporter Hannah Grover contributed to this report.

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