With 19 out of 19 precincts fully reporting unofficial primary election results in Torrance County, incumbent commissioner and Democrat Javier Sanchez will face former commissioner and Republican LeRoy Candelaria in the November general election.
Sanchez got 55.09%with 352 votes. Next was Augustine Montoya, who got 23.79% with 152 votes and Santiago Garcia, who got 21.13% of votes by Democrats with 135.
On the Republican ticket, Candelaria got 45.97% with 394 votes, followed by James Frazier with 27.54% and Sarah Lucero, with 26.49% and 227 votes.
Incumbent Tracey Sedillo is unopposed on the Republican ticket for Torrance County Treasurer, with no Democrat running.
Republican Yvonne Otero is running for Torrance County Clerk unopposed. Democrat Rubena Miranda ran unopposed as well for the same position.
Incumbent District Attorney in the 7th Judicial District, Clint Wellborn, is unopposed in the Republican primary.
Santa Fe County has 154 out of 154 precincts partially reporting as of this hour.
At 10:30 p.m., Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover announced that she is sending pollworkers counting absentee ballots home for the night. The count will recommence at 9 a.m. June 3.
“Our absentee board started registering absentee ballots at 7 a.m. this morning. That was over 15 hours ago,” Stover said. “Another time I’ll tell you the story of this tireless and dedicated absentee board. But for now, suffice it to say that 11 p.m., I’m sending them home to get some sleep.”
The absentee board has registered over 98,000 absentee ballots in Bernalillo County, with nearly 15,000 turned in on Election Day, according to the clerk’s office.
An update from the Secretary of State’s office just after 5 p.m. on Election Day showed a total of 228,403 Democrats, 146,148 Republicans and 1,465 Libertarians cast votes in the primary election.
At that time, 81,817 Democrats cast ballots in Bernalillo County, with 44,710 Republicans and 562 Libertarians.
In Santa Fe County, 32,854 Democrats voted as of the last update, with 5,468 Republicans and 98 Libertarians.
In Torrance County as of the last update, 2,001 Republicans had cast votes in the primary, along with 1,398 Democrats and 14 Libertarians.
Election officials said voter turnout for the primary election has stayed relatively the same as past election cycles.
“The years that we have presidential elections there’s always a lot more people that come out to the polls than there are when there are just local issues,” said Cassie Stuart, a presiding judge in Edgewood. “I would say it’s about average even with the mail-in ballots at least in this area. I feel like it looks the same as it did four years ago for primaries.”
Election judge Liana Nasci of Moriarty said voter turnout may have been even better than past primaries but that a lot more absentee ballots were hand-delivered to the polling place.
Under the state’s coronavirus-related public health order, which encouraged voting by absentee ballot, and mailed absentee ballot applications to registered voters.
Election law says those absentee ballots can be turned in up until the polls close on Election Day, something often called “absentee in-person voting.”
Stuart said the biggest problem for her polling place was absentee ballots.
“[Absentee ballots] were mailed out really late so some people haven’t gotten them,” she said. “There are a lot of people that have been worried about the security of mailing the ballots in and so they prefer to vote in person and when they come in to vote in person, we have to call up to Santa Fe and get somebody to switch the voter status and then they sign an affidavit saying that they have switched to voting in person and will destroy that ballot. … If it weren’t for the absentee ballots it wouldn’t really be too bad.”
Presiding Judge Destiny Chavez who lives in Albuquerque but works at a polling location in Tijeras, said absentee ballots made things smoother for her.
“People actually did get their ballots in the mail so they’re just kind of bringing them and dropping them off and it’s just a lot easier,” she said. “But it’s still be really, really hectic.”
Stuart said she worked early voting and twice and twice as many people showed up on Election Day than the whole two weeks before.
“If there is any message I can give people for the [general election] is to come in and do early voting,” she said.
For full New Mexico primary election results, visit electionresults.sos.state.nm.us.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.