New Mexico Senate panel delays action on election bill

Associated Press, Farmington Daily Times

SANTA FE — A New Mexico Senate committee has delayed action a measure that would make it easier for independents to vote in primary elections.

The Senate Rules Committee failed on Wednesday to discuss a bill sponsored by Sen. John Sapien that would let voters not affiliated with any political party vote in primary elections by choosing an affiliation by requesting a ballot.

Voters currently have to designate a party affiliation on the voter's certificate of registration.

Under the Bernalillo Democrat's proposal, voter's certificate of registration won't change the voter's party affiliation, but voters can still participate in a party's primary elections.

The measure comes after the New Mexico Supreme Court dismissed an attempt to open major party primary elections to independent voters but left the door open to legislative reforms.