By Wendy Underhill
Have you followed the news about elections lately? If so, probably one-third has been about the horseraces, and two-thirds has been about election administration, a complete reversal of the usual status at this point in a general election year.
Specifically, since COVID-19 hit, primary elections have been postponed, voters have opted to vote absentee more than ever and some states are encouraging more mail voting, while still prepping for “clean” elections (in both senses of the word).
Absentee/mail voting also has taken the lion’s share of legislators’ attention on election administration. In February, NCSL released "Voting Outside the Polling Place," a document with details on many policy points that legislators may want to consider if they are thinking of adjusting their state’s election operations this year.
It’s as close to complete as we could make it—which is great. It’s also huge—which is not so great for anyone who is interested in just their state, or how their state compares to the other 49 states.
So, yesterday NCSL released "Absentee and Mail Voting: New Mexico in Comparison to Other States." This document has two parts, one that explains the ins and outs of absentee/mail voting through a general lens, and one that runs down each of 24 policy points for New Mexico. Here is one example:
Does the state offer an online portal for requesting an absentee/mail ballot?
National Scope: At least 12 states offer the option of online portals where a voter can request an absentee/mail ballot. Two additional states have announced their intention to create an online portal as a result of election changes due to COVID-19.
New Mexico: Yes. In 2019 the legislature authorized the creation of an online absentee/mail ballot request tool, which is now live.
Our Elections and Redistricting team is thinking about making similar reports available for other states. Would you like one? Let us know!
Wendy Underhill is the director of NCSL’s Election and Redistricting Program.