New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill Wednesday allowing same-day voter registration starting in 2021.
Voters will not be able to change their party affiliation on the same day of an election, but the bill allows New Mexicans to register to vote as long as they have a valid ID and vote through a provisional ballot. The vote will be counted upon confirmation from a county clerk verifying the individual’s voter file. The bill also changes the opt-in option when citizens renew their driver’s license to an opt-out process in an effort to increase the amount of registered voters.
Republican legislatures primarily voted against the bill alleging that citizens who are not engaged enough to register, probably were not engaged enough to understand the positions on a ballot. Secretary of State Maggie Tolouse Oliver defended that removing administrative barriers to voting will increase voter turnout and ensure that more New Mexico eligible voters stay engaged in the political process. The automatic voter registration and same-day registration is likely to increase civic participation in statewide elections and keep up to date voter rolls.
New Mexico is the eighteenth state to allow for same-day voter registration.