SANTA FE (KSMX)- A proposal to distribute absentee ballots directly to registered New Mexico voters without a request or application was rejected by a state Senate panel on Thursday at the outset of a special legislative session.
The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, three other Democrats and supported by the governor, would have allowed County Clerks to send vote-by-mail ballots to constituents. But Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R-Roswell) proposed an amendment to SB-4 that removed this key provision from the bill.
Under the revised legislation, voters must continue to apply for absentee ballots. An amended election reform proposal advanced to the Senate floor that would allow additional time before an election to request an absentee ballot, more explicit instructions on mail-in deadlines and bar code tracking to trace ballots through the mail.
The Senate Rules Committee approved the amendment 6-5 with Democrats President Pro Temper Mary Kay Papen and Sen. Clemente Sanchez supporting the changed bill.