Local News
8:59 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Albuquerque Abortion Ban Rejected In Record Special Election

An opponent of the Albuquerque abortion measure attends a rally in August, 2013.
An opponent of the Albuquerque abortion measure attends a rally in August, 2013.
Credit Carrie Jung

The measure to ban abortions at 20 weeks has been defeated by Albuquerque voters. 

With 48 of 50 vote centers reporting, 54 percent of voters rejected the ordinance. Forty-five percent of voters supported it. 

Turnout in the city's special election surpassed turnout in the recent mayoral race and early voting played a large part. Nearly 44,000 voters cast their ballots early while over 33,000 voters went to the polls on election day. 

The runoff election for the District 7 City Council seat went to Diane Gibson who took 51 percent of votes. Janice Arnold-Jones received nearly 49 percent of votes, again, with 48 of 50 vote centers reporting.

UPDATE: 9:50p: Pollster Brian Sanderoff is predicting the ban on abortions after 20 weeks will fail.

KOAT-TV reports some voters at Montgomery Crossing waited in line for 30 minutes to cast their votes.

The Bernalillo County Clerk's office reports the measure was opposed by 54 percent of voters, while 45 percent supported the measure with 40 of 50 vote centers reporting nearly 75,000 votes.

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A first-of-its-kind proposal to ban late-term abortions in New Mexico's largest city is trailing in early returns.

Initial returns from 50,000 early and absentee ballots in Albuquerque show 56 percent of voters against the proposal, while 44 percent support a ban on abortions after 20 weeks.

City officials say more than 36,000 votes that were cast Tuesday remain to be counted.

The first-of-its-kind municipal election is being closely watched as a possible new front in the abortion wars. Traditionally, the issue has been debated at the federal and state levels.

The vote caps an emotional and graphic campaign that drew national groups and hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising.

Police were stationed near polling places around the city as protesters from both sides tried to persuade voters who were lining up before the polls closed.