You are here: HomeNewsLocal News ReleasesHouse Republicans Attempt and Fail to Hijack Bill

House Republicans Attempt and Fail to Hijack Bill

Aimed at Increasing Access to Early Voting Locations to Revive Voter ID
Santa Fe, NM – Voter ID legislation emerged today on the floor of the House of Representatives, when House Republicans attempted to hijack House Bill 524, “Alternative Voting Locations in Certain Areas,”  introduced by Representative Nate Cote (D-Dona Ana & Otero-53). HB 524 will expand polling locations for voters who do not have easy access to early voting. The bill would fix vague language in state statute relating to when an early voting location is required. It will mandate an early vote location for a population center of more than 1500 voters, who have to travel more than 50 miles to the nearest early voting location.
Although repeated attempts to require voter identification have failed to pass in the House, House Republicans utilized the opportunity of the debate over HB 524, to attempt to revive voter ID legislation yet again. Even though there is no clear evidence of voter fraud, Republicans tried to mislead the House into passing legislation that would limit access to the polls for New Mexico’s elderly, low-income and Native Americans. Republicans chose to pursue legislation to disenfranchise voters, rather than support legislation aimed at expanding access to the polls.
Chairwoman of the House Voters and Elections Committee, Representative Mary Helen Garcia said “There has been the repeated concern from some people about voter ID, and we have addressed their concerns repeatedly. I am wondering why we are now repeating the same debate again, when we have already had it, over and over. Democrats do not support any legislation that will limit the ability to New Mexico’s elderly and low-income residents to vote.”
“My concern is since we passed the Voting Right Act during LBJ’s administration, it has been a constant struggle to up hold it,” said Representative Lucky Varela. “Even today parts of the voting right act are being challenged in the Supreme Court, however in New Mexico, we have a duty to protect a citizen’s right to vote, not limit it.”
The bill substitution introduced by Representative Paul Bandy (R- San Juan-3), was tabled with a vote of 38-31 and 1 absent. HB 524 did gain the approval of the House with a vote of 38-31 and 1 absent.
“Our job is to protect our citizen’s right to vote,” said Rep. Nate Cote. “House Bill 524 will make it easier for people who have had to travel long distances to voter early or have ended up waiting in lines for hours to vote on Election Day. I was surprised to see this attempt to expand access to voting, turn into a debate on Voter ID, but I am glad a majority of the Representatives in the House choose to expand access to the polls not limit it.”

Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates

Welcome to Three Times Weekly Updates! You will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.
You can unsubscribe anytime. We never share or rent your email to anyone.

Fire Alerts

Editor's Note

Twice lately, someone has used one of MY photos, TAKEN by ME, without attribution or payment to me or the Beat. Remember that ALL PHOTOS ON THE SITE ARE COPYRIGHTED BY THE PHOTOGRAPHER. All content is also automatically copyrighted to the creator, when it is posted. 

For all you non-profits out there who hold regular fundraisers and want to thank your supporters, the Beat has a new flat rate of $20 plus GRT for Thank You Ads, which are posted under Community. Thanks for supporting the Beat.

The Beat is very pleased and excited to announce that it has an intern, Alexis Rico, who is studying journalism at New Mexico State University. Please welcome her. We will be experimenting together on some new ways to provide the news to you. We look forward to your comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Thanks for being a Beat reader!

The Beat thanks all of you who have become friends of the Beat by sponsoring pages.

We have added a new category under Sponsors on the menu—Local businesses. You and your business can benefit from the exposure by contacting the Beat at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Someone will contact you for an interview and to take photos. The cost for the sponsorship is $100, and you can continue the relationship by advertising your business for a longer term. The longer the term, the better the discount you receive.

The Beat is now posting legal notices for area governmental agencies. Check under the menu item Community to find Legals for what's happening in the area in the way of meetings and other legal notices.

You may have noticed a blue button on the upper left side of most pages. It says Sponsor GCBTo help defray ever-increasing costs of the Beat and to prevent the requirement for paid subscriptions, the Beat is asking you to choose an amount you want to pay on a one-time or regular basis to SPONSOR a page or feature that you rely on. 

If you subscribe to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option on the left side of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Comics are now available. As the editor, I chose my favorites first--B.C. and Wizard of Id. The Beat is seeking sponsors for these comics and for your favorites, too. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for rates. 

Check Out Classifieds.

It's really easy to check to see if there's a classified ad. Just click on Classifieds in the blue menu and the page will open letting you know if there is a classified ad. Remember that your buying classified ads gives you a wide readership, as well as supporting the Beat.

Post YOURS for quick results!

Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News.

Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com.

Go to top