A voting booth inside the gymnasium at Carlos Gilbert Elementary School in Santa Fe, with a ballot and voter permit Credit: Photo by Austin Fisher / Source NM


Just under 2 percent of New Mexicans participating in the 2023 local elections used same-day voter registration.

Unofficial results from the New Mexico Secretary of State’s office showed that 250,657 people cast a ballot, and a total of 4,582 of those either registered or updated their address at the polls.

About 65 percent of voters used same-day registration on Election Day, while another 1,606 voters registered same-day during early voting, according to the secretary of state. All results remain unofficial until certification.

In this election, 2,295 signed up for the Democratic Party. The Republican Party picked up 1,340 new voters from people registering at the polls.

Same-day voter registration was rolled out after a change to the law in 2019, and was allowed in primaries for the first time in 2022.

Alessandra Tablon, 21, just left class at New Mexico State University and waited in line at the Doña Ana County Government Center late afternoon Election Day.

She intended to vote earlier, but said midterms had gotten too busy. Tablon added about 20 minutes to her time voting by registering at the polls.

This is Tablon’s third time voting in an election, adding that local elections offer more chances to make a difference in her hometown.

“I was born and raised here, I’d like to see Las Cruces grow for the better at the end of the day,” she said.

Doña Ana County Clerk Amanda López Askin told Source NM the process does more than increase participation.

“People don’t realize that it helps keep our voter rolls clean because people aren’t just registering to vote, they’re updating old addresses,” she said.

Beth Cole was able to take time off from her work as a graduate coordinator at New Mexico State University’s School of Nursing Tuesday afternoon.

Cole, 40, said she tries to vote in every election. She said that this local election felt more accessible, including the expanded options for registration, compared to previous years.

“There’s more ‘vote here’ signs, it’s been super accessible on campus,” she said. “If we can increase accessibility, encourage more voter participation, more voices can be heard.”