KUNM

Sick Leave Measure Fails By A Handful Of Votes

Oct 4, 2017

Employers in Albuquerque will not have to offer paid sick leave to workers in the city for the foreseeable future. Sick leave opponents edged out supporters by less than 1 percent. The final tallies in the municipal election rolled in near midnight on Tuesday, Oct. 3. 

It was a super tight race all night.

Tallies from a few vote centers would roll in, and sick leave supporters would pull ahead. Then a few more votes would get counted, and they’d be down a hair.

At the watch party, all eyes were on phone screens as the updates came in every so often.

In the end, a little more than 700 votes squashed the measure. Adriann Barboa, field director for Strong Families New Mexico, helped organize the push for paid leave. "Folks were worried," she said. "We’re a poor city, a poor state. So convincing folks that they deserve something like paid sick leave is something that we’ve been working on for over a year and a half."

With such a small margin, she said they’ll definitely be calling for a recount.