Thursday, February 11, 2010

Double Death Blow to Early Registration

Don't count on being able to register to vote at early voting sites this year.

Two legislative committees effectively killed bills that would have allowed a voter to register right before casting a ballot at early voting sites or register at the County Clerk's Office when in-person absentee voting is allowed.

This morning the House Voters & Election Committee voted 7-5 to table HB 123, sponsored by Rep. Jim Trujillo, D-Santa Fe.

That followed the Senate Judiciary Committee's action -- or, rather, inaction -- on SB 161, sponsored by Sen. John Sapien, D-Corrales. There were not enough votes to get a do-pass or a no-recommendation, so that bill's in limbo.

Steve Allen of Common Cause, which was backing the bills, said there was a lot of misinformation flying around about them. Opponents claimed that such a law would lead to massive voter fraud and an influx of foreigners voting.

Allen said the bill would help young people and those who don't get excited about an election until two weeks before election day.

So if you don't get registered before 28 days before an election, you're out of luck.