By Sandoval Signpost Staff
Election Day looms on Nov. 8, but there's still some time to vote early, register to vote and vote absentee - although voting by mail is getting down to the wire. Absentee ballots must be received by mail or in person by 7 p.m. on Election Day to be counted. The Secretary of State's Office recommends mailing ballots no later than Nov. 2.
Early indications point to strong voter participation with the Sandoval County Clerk's Office, the only polling location before early voting expanded on Oct. 22, averaging about 350 voters a day, Bureau of Elections Manager Tina Dominguez said.
"It looks like it's going to be a good turnout," Dominguez said. "We want a good turnout."
Expanded voting added nine voter-convenience centers at the Placitas Community Library, El Zócalo in Bernalillo, the Corrales Community Center, the Sandoval County Fair Grounds in Cuba and five locations in Rio Rancho. All are open from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday except for the County Clerk's Office which opens 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays with extended hours on Saturday, Nov. 5, the last day for in-person early voting.
Election Day opens more polling sites at the Bernalillo High School Gym and Bernalillo Senior Center, Sandia View Christian School in Corrales, two sites in Jemez Springs, seven more in Rio Rancho, and locations in Algodones, La Jara, La Madera, Peña Blanca, Ponderosa and San Ysidro. Unlike in recent elections, the Placitas Community Library is the only voting site in Placitas.
Polls are open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Election Day with anyone in line at closing time allowed to vote. With the adoption of voting centers, voters can vote anywhere in the county and have the appropriate ballot printed on the spot.
During early voting and on Election Day, properly prepared and sealed absentee ballots can be delivered in person to polling sites. A voter concerned a mailed ballot won't arrive in time can still vote in person but must sign an affidavit canceling the mailed ballot.
By state law, only the voter, his or her caregiver, spouse or an immediate family member can hand deliver an absentee ballot. Anyone authorized to deliver a ballot for someone else must also sign the ballot return envelop.
County election staff will collect absentee ballots daily for secure storage until they are opened for counting.
Voting centers also will have registrars to update registrations and register first-time voters. A variety of photo IDs and proofs of county residency are needed.
Information including sample ballots and voting locations is available on the county website SandovalCountNM.gov under Departments/Bureau of Elections. The Secretary of State also provides information on absentee voting, registering to vote, election results and other topics at SOS.State.NM.us under Voting and Elections.
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