In an effort to encourage absentee voting and reduce the number of voters at in-person polling places during the 2020 Primary Election, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver today began sending absentee ballot applications to all registered major party voters in New Mexico who had not already requested one.

Because New Mexico has a closed primary system, only Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians can vote in the Primary Election. The Libertarian Party gained major party status due to the numbers of people voting for Libertarian candidate and former governor Gary Johnson.

“The best way voters can exercise their democratic rights while also protecting their own health and the health of their communities is to vote from home for the 2020 Primary Election using an absentee ballot,” Toulouse Oliver said. “Voters should be on the lookout for an absentee ballot application in the mail and, once they receive it, follow all the directions and return it to their County Clerk ASAP.”

Eligible major party voters who did not already apply for an absentee ballot through nmvote.org or through their County Clerk will receive an absentee ballot application at the voter registration address on file, along with a bilingual informational sheet that provides instructions and more information.

Voters should complete the absentee ballot application and return it to their County Clerk using the postage paid mailer as soon as possible, but no later than May 28.

The last day for voters to submit an absentee ballot application for the 2020 Primary Election is May 28.

Once the application is returned, voters will then receive their absentee ballot in the mail from their County Clerk.

To vote, citizens then return that absentee ballot in the mail using the postage paid envelope, or by dropping it off with their County Clerk before 7 p.m. on Election Day, June 2.

If voters are mailing their absentee ballot back to their County Clerk, it’s recommended that they mail it no later than May 29 to ensure it arrives before the deadline.

Voters may also track the status of their application and their ballot at nmvote.org. Voters can confirm whether their application has been received by the County Clerk, whether or not the ballot has been mailed, and whether or not the ballot has been received back by the County Clerk.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Toulouse Oliver opened the online absentee ballot request portal a month earlier than normal, on March 20. As of today, over 71,000 New Mexicans have applied for an absentee ballot using the online system.