County voters turning out early

Staff and wire reports

More than 13 percent of Curry County’s registered voters have already cast their votes in this year’s general election, either by early voting or sending in absentee ballots.
Coni Jo Lyman, chief deputy clerk of the Curry County Clerk’s Office, described this year’s election as “very hectic” for her office.

“There’s just a lot of people taking advantage (of voting early) and we’re just glad for that,” she said.
Lyman said on Monday alone 264 people took advantage of the early voting option.

In all, 2,806 residents have voted early — either through an early absentee option at the courthouse that has been available since Oct. 5, early voting which began Saturday at locations other than the courthouse or by mailing in absentee ballots, Lyman said.

There are 21,554 registered voters in Curry County, Lyman said.

Statewide, New Mexicans are taking advantage of the early voting option.

“We’ve been slammed with voters, slammed with calls,” Bernalillo County Clerk Mary Herrera said Monday.
About 7,500 people have voted in Bernalillo County since early in-person voting began Oct. 5, Herrera said. About 4,200 of those voters turned out Saturday when early voting started at satellite locations other than the clerk’s office.
With two weeks left before the Nov. 2 election, heavy early in-person voting was reported statewide.

Chaves County Chief Deputy Clerk Rhoda Goodloe said 15 percent of registered voters in her county had already voted.
“We’ve had a steady stream of people all day,” Goodloe said Monday. “They want to make sure their ballots get counted in case the weather gets bad or in case something unexpected happens.”

Goodloe said her office has mailed out 2,900 absentee ballots so far and 2,021 people have voted in person.
The Bernalillo County clerk’s office has mailed out about 52,000 absentee ballots and still has about 3,000 registration forms to enter into the computer database of voters. Herrera said those voters will still be allowed to cast in-person ballots early.

“We have not turned anybody away,” she said, noting that provisional ballots are available at every voting location.
In San Juan County, Clerk Fran Hanhardt reported early and absentee voting has already broken the 2000 record. As of Monday, 3,190 people voted in-person and 5,433 absentee ballots were mailed out.

Santa Fe County Clerk Rebecca Bustamante also reported heavy voter turnout. About 21,000 people have voted early or have been sent absentee ballots, she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.