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Tue March 27, 2012
New Voting System to Debut
(DONA ANA COUNTY) -- Several counties around New Mexico will be testing out a new system this election cycle that will make voting easier while saving thousands of dollars.
Next time you visit the various polling places in Dona Ana County, there will be something different.
“I just think it’s going to be very popular. It was done in abq. In November,” said County Clerk Lynn Ellins.
Dona Ana along with other counties in the state will be using voting convenience centers instead of traditional precinct polling places.
“If it’s near work, they can go during their lunch hour. They don’t have to rush home in the evening, make sure they vote after work because it gets very crowded between six and seven. They don’t have to be there first thing in the morning in order to get to work,” he said.
Currently, there are more than 80 locations to vote in Dona Ana County. This year, that number will be cut to 39, reducing confusion and eliminating provitional ballots.
“If you live in house district 36, but you go to a precinct in house district 52, you’re not entitled to vote for the candidate in house district 52 so you’re given a provisional ballot and when we do the canvass we determine that this person voted in the wrong district and we can’t count that particular vote,” he said.
Administrators plan to only hire 39 poll workers for the new system, which will save an estimated $135,000. The convenience centers are able to print ballots on the spot cutting the cost of ballots being printed around the state.
“For the larger convenience centers we’ll have four or five systems running at once so we can be printing out ballots four, five at a time. Half the people are voting early now anyway either by mail or by person so, we think we can make it very quickly,” he said.
The new convenience centers for voting plan to be used during the June primaries and in November.