Fifteen states and D.C. let people register to vote and cast a ballot on the same day. But that’s not the case here, and for the election in Albuquerque in October, the last day you can register to vote is Tuesday, Sept. 5.
People who support same-day registration say it increases voter turnout. In Albuquerque, turnout’s been low. In the last two city elections, a small fraction of voters went to the polls.
Viki Harrison of Common Cause said part of the problem is this archaic early registration deadline, and that instead, we should allow registration all the way up until the Saturday before Election Day. "When you only have 8 percent of registered voters having a say, then you have another four years of everybody feeling like they have no skin in the game," she said.
Harrison said people with longer work days or more rigid work schedules have an especially hard time getting around bureaucratic hurdles to participate in democracy. And local elections, she added, have a bigger impact on your daily life than state or national elections. Politicians elected locally made decisions about your roads, water, construction projects and public policy.
Register to vote for the first time or update your registration with the Bernalillo County Clerk's Office. Call (505) 243-VOTE or head down to the sixth floor of One Civic Plaza NW.