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Pat Davis is an owner and publisher of The Paper. He also serves as an Albuquerque City Councilor and former chair of the governor's cannabis legalization work group.

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Okay, folks, it is time to shake off the COVID-19 blues and step up and vote. There are a few important dates to keep in mind.

October 6 Is a Big Day!

This is the magic day to register to vote or to update your registration. Log on to bernco.gov/clerk/voter-registration.aspx to get it done. There is no same-day voter registration on Election Day in New Mexico, so get it done by the Oct. 6 deadline!

Clerks will begin mailing out absentee ballots to voters who have requested them by this date as well. The final date for an absentee ballot request is 5pm on Oct. 20. There is still time to get one, and there are two quick ways to do it. One: Log on to sos.state.nm.us/voting-and-elections/voter-information-portal/. You must have your driver’s license or state ID to use this option. Two: Request an absentee voter application by phone by calling 505-243-VOTE option 2. The application will be mailed to you. All absentee ballots must be filled out and returned via mail, or you can drop it off in person at a polling location or at the Bernalillo County Clerk’s office (1 Civic Plaza #6029) no later than Nov. 3. Let’s not wait until the last day to return these important ballots.

Vote Early—Vote Often

Just kidding about the vote often part. For those who like to vote in person, to make sure their paper ballot is not kidnapped, early voting begins Oct. 17 and runs through Oct. 31, Mondays through Saturdays, 10am to 7pm. I say let’s pack the early voting booths on Halloween to really scare the Orange Meanies. There are several places to do this at: Caracol Plaza (12500 Montgomery Blvd. NE, Suite 101),; Four Hills Shopping Center (13140 Central Ave. SE, Suite 1420) and Los Altos Plaza (4200 Wyoming Blvd. NE, Suite B-3).

More Please

The League of Women Voters New Mexico puts out an informative election guide each year to help voters understand what is on their ballots. Check it out at vote411.org. While you’re there you can plug in your address to get a sneak preview of what your actual ballot will look like.

Poll Workers Needed

Got some time and energy to spare to make sure there is no hanky panky during the election? There is still time to sign up to be a poll worker here in Bernalillo County. Check out this link: powerthepolls.org

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