ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — As election day gets closer, we're also seeing the commercials on tv reminding people to register to vote. The Bernalillo County Clerk's Office says there's a small rundown that voters should check while registering, but they want to emphasize it's an easy thing to do and it's critical to make your vote count.
"We're trying to really encourage people to get registered," says Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver. "If they're not registered or to update or renew their registration if they've moved or if something's changed since the last time they registered to vote."
While it may be a simple procedure to take care of, county officials say you need to be mindful of where you register and whom you register with, especially if it's a third party other than the clerk's office.
"I would definitely look for organizations that have a state voter registration form," says Oliver. "Those folks understand the law, they are under a statutory requirement to turn those forms into us within 24 hours. They are not allowed, in fact they are forbidden by law to use any of the personal and private information on that form for any purpose."
Those state voter registration forms are the ones that have a bar code and receipt as opposed to Federal forms which may be photocopied.
To qualify for registration, you must be a resident of New Mexico, a U.S. Citizen and not legally declared to be mentally incapacitated. Also, if you are a felon, you must have completed the terms and conditions of sentencing plus you may want to double check with the clerk's office that you are eligible. Of course, the most obvious qualification is that you have to be 18 years or more at the time of the election.
There is still some time to get registered by mail or in person at the clerk's office. They've also established convenient locations and ways to get it done.
"Call us today at 243-VOTE, or visit us at our booth at the state fair or at our office downtown at One Civic Plaza," says Oliver. "Get registered or update your registration today, don't wait until the last minute."
When you fill out the form through a third party, you need to make sure it's complete. If it's not, it could be rejected and take that much longer to be officially registered and time is running out. The last day to register to vote in Bernalillo County is October 9.
New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.