Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Will Independents Be Allowed to Vote in 2016 primary?

As Democrats and Republicans began voting in the 2014 primary Tuesday, an Albuquerque lawyer filed a suit on behalf of the 248,741 voters barred by state law from voting because they are registered as “declined-to-state” or independent.

According to the suit, filed in state district court in Albuquerque by J. Edward Hollington, the law prohibiting independents violates the state constitution. The suit argues that the constitution grants all citizens who are “qualified electors” to “the right to vote “at all elections for public officers.” Also, the suit says, the constitution states that all elections are to be “free and open, and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.”

The suit notes that in New Mexico primary elections are paid for with tax dollars.

Hollington, according to his suit, went to an early voting center in Albuquerque on May 21, but — as he expected — was denied because he is registered as “declined-to-state.”

Hollington told The New Mexican Tuesday that he’s been thinking of pursuing such a suit for several years.

He said he’s doing this on his own. “No group is backing me.”

But the executive director of New Mexico Common Cause, which long has backed the idea, applauded the lawsuit. “For us, it just makes sense for all voters to be able to vote,” said Viki Harrison. “It’s just good old Democracy to let people vote.”

Check The New Mexican website later today for complete story