Live Blog: Election Day 2020 is here, and San Juan County voters are at the polls

Welcome to the Farmington Daily Times Election Day blog. Bookmark us and check back for fresh updates, as counting of San Juan County ballots resumes on Wednesday morning. 

Our reporters were on the road Tuesday visiting polling sites.

Polls closed at 7 p.m. We’ll post vote count updates when they become available.

Have a tip? Reach out to us via news@daily-times.com and let us know.

12 a.m. Nov. 4: According to the New Mexico Secretary of State's Office, Doña Ana, Sandoval and Otero counties still have absentee ballots to count. The counting will resume in the morning. Doña Ana County has the largest number of uncounted ballots. 

Estimated uncounted ballots are as follows:

  • Doña Ana County: 1200
  • Sandoval County: 750
  • Otero County: 50

11:10 p.m.: State law required absentee ballot precinct boards to stop counting ballots at 11 p.m. Counting will resume in the morning.

10:40 p.m.: The Associated Press has called the U.S. Senate race for Ben Ray Luján, the current congressman representing northern New Mexico. The race has been close all evening and current counts show Luján leading with 51% of the votes compared to his Republican opponent Mark Ronchetti, who has 47% of the vote. Libertarian candidate Bob Walsh has 2%.  “We are so excited to be sending Representative Ben Ray Luján to the United States Senate. Representative Luján is a true son of New Mexico and a lifelong champion for New Mexicans," Democratic Party  of New Mexico Chair Marg Elliston said in a statement. "We know that his voice in the Senate will be one that represents our values and reflects the priorities of hardworking people. Congratulations to Representative Ben Ray Luján!”

10 p.m.: San Juan County Clerk Tanya Shelby, a Republican, has won a decisive victory against her Democratic Party challenger Ricardo Damian Artalejo. Unofficial results show Shelby leading with 34,712 votes. Artalejo has received 13,129 votes. Ballots are still being counted. — Hannah Grover

9:45 p.m.: The unofficial results for Shiprock Chapter show Nevina D. Kinlahcheeny winning the race for chapter president. Kinlahcheeny is the current vice president and defeated Matthew White and Nathaniel Ellison. In the race for farm board member, newcomer Beatrice Redfeather beat incumbent Dineh Benally and fellow newcomer Joe Stephen Ben.

The unofficial results included tallies for school board seats, despite the Navajo Nation Supreme Court upholding a lower court decision that determined the school board election cannot occur due to tribal officials violating part of the process to reapportion these seats. — Noel Lyn Smith

Chapter president

Matthew White 894

Nevina D. Kinlahcheeny 991

Nathaniel Ellison 464

Chapter vice president

Richard T. Begaye 585

Debra A. Yazzie 1,345

Loretta John 393

Chapter secretary/treasurer

J. Kaibah Begay 1,917

Grazing committee member

Lander Morris 891

Donald Benally 348

Sarah A. Denetclaw-Begay 1,090

Farm board member

Joe Stephen Ben 797

Beatrice Redfeather 1,252

Dineh Benally 259

Northern Navajo Schools (at-large with Shiprock, Nenahnezad, Upper Fruitland and San Juan chapters)

Mae Y. Sandoval 1,858

Nataani Nez Schools (vote for two)

Marian J. John 235

Nikki E. Begay 792

Russell Begaye 795

Pete Ken Atcitty 944

Lula Jackson 461

Richard T. Begaye 276

Navajo Preparatory School (at-large with Northern Agency)

Matthew D. Tso 729

Bernadette Todacheene 1,1417

Navajo Board of Election Supervisors (at-large with Northern Agency)

Martha Saggboy 1,476

Wilbert Y. Mark 787

9:30 p.m.: New Mexico voters were asked to decide whether the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission should remain a five-member elected body or if it should change to a three-member appointed body. As of 9:30 p.m., 282,629 voters supported the governor appointing the PRC commissioners while 228,027 voters opposed the constitutional amendment. — Hannah Grover

9:20 p.m.: Teresa Leger Fernandez has won the district three seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. She will represent northern New Mexico. — Hannah Grover

7:25 p.m.: Voters really turned out today in The Land of Enchantment. New Mexico voter participation rose to more than 890,000 on Election Day, blowing past New Mexico’s previous record of 833,000 ballots during 2008's presidential election.

7:15 p.m.:  The Associated Press declared that Joe Biden won the presidential contest in New Mexico and captured the state’s five Electoral College votes. Biden’s statewide election victory on Tuesday without a campaign visit to New Mexico extends a string of victories for Democratic presidential candidates in this state. 

5:20 p.m.: According to numbers provided by the New Mexico Secretary of State's Office, 8,419 San Juan County residents have cast their ballots in person today. Those ballots were cast between the time that polls opened at 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., two hours before polls are scheduled to close. More than 65% of registered San Juan County voters have cast ballots. 

Statewide, 889,957 New Mexicans have voted including 108,896 ballots cast today. In San Juan County, 50,819 voters have cast ballots. — Hannah Grover

4 p.m.: Nearly 64% of registered voters in San Juan County had cast ballots as of 3:30 p.m., according to numbers from the New Mexico Secretary of State's Office. The majority of those ballots were cast either early or absentee, however 7,144 people voted in person from the time polls opened at 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

Statewide, 80,417 people cast ballots between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. today and a total of 869,146 New Mexicans have voted. — Hannah Grover

12:34 p.m.: Here’s a handy link to polling place locations. Our online experts say people are typing in plenty of searches today like, “How can I vote?” or “Where can I vote?” They also found this popular rising internet search term being used by New Mexico and Colorado residents: “Can I buy alcohol in New Mexico on Election Day?” — John R. Moses

11:45 a.m.: The New Mexico Secretary of State's Office is reporting that 4,134 San Juan County voters have voted today, as of 11:30 a.m. In total, 46,388 San Juan County voters have cast their ballots. That is the same number of voters who cast ballots during the 2016 election in San Juan County. 

Statewide, 53,579 registered voters cast ballots between the time that polls opened on Election Day and 11:30 a.m. and 830,844 New Mexicans have voted in total. — Hannah Grover

10:30 a.m.: San Juan County voters visited 33 polling locations on Nov. 3 to cast their ballots and, for the most part, lines remained short. 

Elections workers in Bloomfield said there was an initial rush at 7 a.m. when the polls opened, but that lasted about half an hour before dying down.

Polls opened at 7 a.m. and within the first hour of voting more than 1,000 San Juan County residents had cast ballots, according to numbers from the New Mexico Secretary of State's Office.

The San Juan County Clerk's website included a link to a wait time tracker for the 33 sites and, throughout the morning, most of those sites reported a wait time of less than five minutes.

Going into Election Day, the New Mexico Secretary of State's Office reported that 42,254 San Juan County residents had already voted either through absentee ballots or during the early voting. — Hannah Grover

Contact John R. Moses at 505-564-4624, or via email at jmoses@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.