Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover said she is “real, real confident” in the security her office has to prevent voter fraud.
“I wish every one of you could come down to our voting machine warehouse and see how it’s set up,” she said. “We have total security. We have Sheriff’s deputies that help us escort things back and forth from the polling locations to where we tabulate votes. There’s cameras, we have watchers, we have challengers from all the parties. Probably 100 people that are sorting through these things. It would be very hard to do anything.”
Stover also said that it would difficult to try and vote as another person at the polls.
“When you come in and give me your name, we’re going to look you up and you’re going to have to know some of that information,” she said. “If [you’ve] been sent an absentee ballot and you’re trying to vote in person, we’ll question that because we’ve sent you a ballot. It’s difficult, it’s not as cavalier and simple as people make it out to be.”
The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 20, and the clerk’s office will begin mailing absentee ballots to voters Oct. 6.
While her website’s recommended last day to mail an absentee ballot back to the clerk is Oct. 27, Stover said absentee ballots can be returned in person until 7 p.m. on Election Day at any polling place.
She also said that there will be contactless ways to return absentee ballots in person.
“There will be ballot boxes at all polling places for Election Day,” she said, adding, “We’re going to have a drive-through down at 5th and Marquette [in downtown Albuquerque] on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. You’ll be able to drive through, put your ballot into a ballot box, get an ‘I Voted’ sticker, and just keep going.”
Stover said elections are run and operated by citizens. “People like you, your neighbors, your relatives,” she said, adding, “We have two boards. We have one board that accepts the ballots, checks them and verifies them that they are correct. And then we have another board called the absentee board. … That’s where the envelopes get opened and sorted, and things start getting registered for election day. It’s a big process. There’s about 100 people doing that.”
“Don’t miss this election, it’s huge,” Stover said. “It’s a big one!”
To register to vote online, or to request an absentee ballot, visit the County Clerk’s website, or the Secretary of State’s website. Absentee ballots can be requested as well, and other voter information, like polling locations, precincts, and the status of voter registration.
Contact the Bernalillo County Clerk’s office at 505-243-VOTE.