To vote in the Nov. 6 general election, residents of Lincoln County must be registered by 5 p.m. Tuesday, when voter registration books close.
Registrations mailed and postmarked by 5 p.m. Oct. 9 also will be accepted, said County Elections Clerk Yvonne Bartz in the office of County Clerk Rhonda Burrows. On the same day, the first absentee ballots will be mailed.
Early voting begins Oct. 20 at the Ruidoso Senior Center and Oct. 22 at the Lincoln County Clerk's Office in the county courthouse in Carrizozo. The Ruidoso center will be available for voting from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The Carrizozo office will be open for voting from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. only on Nov. 3, when early voting closes.
On Nov. 6, voting for all precincts will be possible from any of the six voting centers in the county, one in each of the five municipalities and one in the Hondo area.
Burrows said another significant change this election is the elimination of a straight party vote.
"In past statewide elections, the voter had the option at the top of the ballot to choose a straight party vote," she said. "This option will not be available on the ballot for the 2012 General Election because of a decision by the Secretary of State that there is no provision for a straight vote in state statutes. Voters are required to designate a choice for each contest.
"Five Constitutional amendments and three bond questions will appear on the ballot, which will be two sided.
Amendments and bond issues
Three of the constitutional amendments deal with the Public Regulation Commission. Amendment 2 calls for an increase in qualifications for pubic regulation commissioners, Number 3 would remove corporations from PRC jurisdiction and place them under the secretary of state, and Number 4 would remove insurance companies and place them under a superintendent of insurance. The first amendment provides for two additional members to sit on the judicial standards commission, a municipal judge and a public member. The fifth amendment would create an independent public defender department.
Bond Question A calls for the sale of $10,335,000 in bonds for senior citizen facilities, Bond Question B would sell $9,830,000 in bonds for library acquisition and construction and Bond Question C, $120 million for higher education and special schools capital improvements and acquisitions.
Depending on their precincts, Lincoln County voters will face choices for state senate seats, a county commission post and for sheriff. Several state and county Republicans face no opposition in their races, some because the race was decided in the primary election.
Sample ballots will be posted on the New Mexico Secretary of State's website, http://www.sos.state.nm.us, and a "super ballot" is now available for review on the county clerk's website. Voters with questions or needing more information can call 1-800-687-2705, extension 6.