As of Tuesday Oct. 13, Chief Deputy Clerk Michelle Paz said 404 voters had cast ballots at the clerk’s office.
John Larson | El Defensor Chieftain

Early voting has been steady so far in Socorro County.

Just more than a week in, as of Tuesday Oct. 13, Socorro County Chief Deputy Clerk Michelle Paz said 404 voters had cast ballots at the clerk’s office.

“The first few days are usually the busiest and I feel like this year is slightly higher,” Paz said. “As things progress, we’ll see if it slows down.”

Now through Saturday, Oct. 31, voters can go to the county clerk’s office in the city of Socorro to vote or go to the alternate site at the Magdalena Senior Citizens Center, starting Monday, Oct. 19.

All voting locations in the county will be complying with the state’s public health orders and taking precautions against COVID-19, she said.

Poll workers will be wearing masks and disinfecting surfaces at voting centers, as well as helping voters practice proper social distancing, she said.

Absentee ballots were sent out across the state starting Tuesday, Oct. 6, and as of the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 13, the Socorro County clerk’s office had mailed out 1,959 — 1,265 to Democrats, 447 to Republicans, 12 to Libertarians and 235 went to voters who did not state a party.

Voters can return their absentee ballots by mail or bring them to the county clerk’s office, 200 Church St., in Socorro, to return them in person, Paz said.

Voters can also drop off absentee ballots at the Magdalena Senior Citizens Center during early voting, which starts Monday, Oct. 19.

Absentee ballots can also be taken to any of the county’s eight Voting Convenience Centers between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Voters have until Tuesday, Oct. 20, to request an absentee ballot.

During the June special Legislative session this year, Senate Bill 4 was passed, which included additional verification criteria for absentee ballots.

Under a privacy flap on the mailing envelope is a place for the voter’s signature and the last four digits of their Social Security number. This information must be present for the clerk’s office to verify the ballot.

If the ballot is rejected, the voter will be notified by the clerk’s office and told how to correct the issue.

SB 4 also requires all county clerks across the state to stop counting ballots at 11 p.m. on Election Day if the count isn’t complete by then. The count can resume the next day from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and for as many days after as necessary to complete the count.

Voters also have the option to do same day registration or a same day update to their information to make sure they get an accurate ballot.

During early voting, a poll official will be able to do registration or updates at the site.

To do same day registration or update your existing registration, you need bring a New Mexico driver’s license or ID card, a document with an address in the county with a photo ID card or a current, valid student photo ID card from a New Mexico college or university plus a current student fee statement with the student’s address in the county.

If an early voting site or polling place doesn’t have real-time access to the statewide voter files, someone wanting to register or update their information will be issued a provisional ballot.

For questions about voting and polling locations, call the Socorro County Clerk’s Office at 835-0423.

Important Dates

and Deadlines

Tuesday, Oct. 6: Voter registration by mail or online closed (You can make changes to your registration or do same day registration by going to the county clerk’s office in person or one of the early voting sites.)

Tuesday, Oct. 6: Absentee voting began

Saturday, Oct. 17: Early in-person voting begins

Tuesday, Oct. 20: Last day for absentee ballot applications

Saturday, Oct. 31: Last day to register to vote at county clerks offices

Saturday, Oct. 31: Last day of early voting

Tuesday, Nov. 3: Election Day

Early Voting

Socorro County Clerk’s Office

200 Church St., Socorro

•8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday

Julia M. Dendinger For El Defensor Chieftain