Posted by Kellie Ryan on January 26, 2016 at 5:47 PM
Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas and Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard Introduce the Open Primaries Joint Resolution
Santa Fe – Representatives Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Albuquerque) and Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos) have introduced the Open Primaries, House Joint Resolution 12 (HJR 12). The constitutional amendment would allow all voters, regardless of party affiliation to participate by voting in a primary election.
“This is a way to make the political process more inclusive for all New Mexicans” said Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Albuquerque). “The low voter turnout last year should be troubling to all of us. We must open the franchise of government to allow total voter participation in every step of the electoral process.”
“We need to open our current primary process to allow more opportunities for a constructive dialogue around the real issues affecting the daily lives of New Mexicans,” said Representative Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos), “this is especially critical considering that the number of voters registering as Decline to State or Independent has tripled since 1982, from 7% of registered voters to nearly 22% with most of that growth amongst younger voters. If we truly want to create a brighter future for New Mexico we need to engage all New Mexicans in our Democratic process.”
If passed, the joint resolution would encourage more registered voters to participate in our elections. “Every eligible voter should be encouraged to participate in New Mexico’s elections. However, when we exclude a large number of registered voters from primary elections, we are actually denying them their right to participate in our democracy. That needs to change,” said Bernalillo County Clerk, Maggie Toulouse. “Opening primary elections to all registered voters will also help combat the apathy many people feel about voting and will engage more people in the public debate about the issues that are important to New Mexicans.”
If the Open Primaries constitutional amendment passes, voters would have the opportunity to decide on November’s ballot whether or not New Mexico should have open primaries.