President Franklin D. Roosevelt once stated, “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.” We realize that for some New Mexicans, Election Day can be uneasy. The education FDR talks about can be difficult to obtain, especially is it relates to candidates and issues on the ballot.
This year is especially important for the future of New Mexico. All 70 house seats are up for election, many of which has incumbents asking for the job again. Do you want to know how they moved the needle on education, crime, and quality of life?
We have provided a list of simple resources so voters KNOW BEFORE THEY VOTE.
1. Obtain a Sample Ballot
Waiting until you are in that tiny cardboard cubicle at a polling site to make a decision is likely not the best way to vote. We recommend obtaining a sample ballot, doing the research on each candidate and issue, filling in the sample ballot, and then taking it with you to your polling location. Ballot Ready also compiles data on each candidate, making it a helpful resource.
You can obtain your specific ballot by visiting Ballot Ready.
2. Review Viante Scorecards
Viante provides a nonpartisan scorecard for State Senators and Representatives. They are scored based on how they supported issues related to crime, education and quality of life during the last legislative session. These scorecards are helpful in understanding incumbents and whether or not they should be retained.
Scorecards can be viewed on Viante’s Website.
3. Research Candidates, Bonds, and the Proposed Constitutional Amendment
Understanding where candidates stand on issues, and the pros and cons of the bonds and constitutional amendment is tricky. Fortunately, non-partisan groups like the League of Women Voters, have done the heavy-lifting for voters.
4. Make an Informed Decision on Judges
Unless one has had experience with the judicial system, it can be difficult to make an assessment on judges. Fortunately, the New Mexico Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission (JPEC) evaluates the performance of sitting judges and justices who are seeking retention. The evaluation is based on legal ability, fairness, communication skills, preparation, attentiveness, temperament and control over proceedings.
A voting guide for judges can be found at the New Mexico Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission.
As election day approaches, Viante thanks you for investing in our state through democracy. If you found this helpful, please take a moment to share with your family and friends.
Video by Corey Cooper