With unofficial results from the Santa Fe County Clerk of the special election in Edgewood, voters opted for the commission-manager form of government by a 2-to-1 margin.

With 1,505 total votes counted, 1,043 voted in favor of the question, “Shall the Town of Edgewood be organized under the commission-manager form of government and providing for the election of five commissioners?”, while 462 people voted against the question.

The special election was the result of a petition by CORE, or Citizens for an Open and Responsible Edgewood. There was no other question or race on the ballot, which was restricted to people living within Edgewood’s municipal boundaries.

Santa Fe County Clerk Geraldine Salazar said she mailed out 3,666 ballots, meaning that 48% of those who got a ballot voted in the special election. She said there were 4,112 registered voters in Edgewood, which is a turnout of 36.6%.

In 2018, with 3,893 registered voters, Edgewood’s last regular municipal election saw 548 votes cast, a participation rate of 14%.

In 2016, the last town election with the mayor’s race on the ballot, 428 votes were cast out of 2,640 registered voters, a participation rate of 16%.

Next steps for the town include the creation of five districts, which must be as equal as possible in population as possible, must be contiguous, and other requirements.

The state Attorney General’s office said last month that no matter which way the vote went, the current mayor and council will remain in office, under the current format, until Jan. 1, 2022.

The AG’s office gave its legal opinion in potential changes to town government if a commission-manager format were adopted at the request of Rep. Matthew McQueen, who represents District 50 in the state Legislature.

The AG’s office concluded that if the commission-manager format were approved by voters, that the first commissioners would be elected in the Nov. 2, 2021 general election. This echoes the conclusion of the Secretary of State earlier this year.

Under the Local Election Act, passed in 2018 by the state Legislature, municipal elections were moved from their previous March date to the November general election ballot in odd-numbered years for those towns which opted in, including Edgewood.

The Local Election Act also transfers authority for running municipal elections from the town to the county clerk for those towns opting in.

Part of the law’s rationale is that placing municipal elections on the general election ballot would increase participation.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at news.ind.editor@gmail.com.