06.05.12 (LAS CRUCES) – There is something new registered voters will see this election year. Leaders have set up “voting convenience centers,” through out the state including Dona Ana county. This election year, voters won’t have to look for their assigned polling place. Instead, they will have a menu of 39 available locations across Dona Ana county.
“We’ve gotten away from the traditional precinct base voting operation where you have to go to a particular precinct in which your register and if you go elsewhere you’ll be given a provision ballet, some of the votes may or may not be counted depending on what district you’re in,” said County Clerk, Lynn Ellins.
Dona Ana is one of 18 counties with convenience centers. Some centers will be closer to homes, schools and even people’s work place.
“I assume there will always be problems at a brand new operating system and I’m happy they are not major problems, we have advertised these locations in a very significant way,” he said.
County leaders have sent out letters to registered voters with information on the new voting procedure. Workers posted flyers at public places and have even published ads in local newspapers. There is even directions posted at old polling places.
“I was present at the polls in Albuquerque last October when Albuquerque did this and as a result we were able to observe a lot of problems and it was a very good educational experience for us because we found out what not to do,” said Ellins.
The county clerk expects a low turn out this election cycle. A little over three thousand people have submitted their absentee ballets, but more than two hundred ballots still haven’t been turned in.
“The presidential race has been decided so they really no excitement at the top of the ticket. The U.S. Senate race is for most people a four gone conclusion who’s going to want these has been a lot of mudslinging in any of those races so were left with several local primaries mostly on the Democratic side for State House and County Commissioner and these have not seem to energize the voter,” he said.