Proposed House bill to allow changes in the New Mexico open area codes

A bill from the New Mexico House of Representatives proposing changes to the state primary election will be reinstated in the 2023 legislative session. If House Bill 54 passes, voters would no longer need to declare party registration to vote in a primary. Currently, voters registered as Democrats or Republicans can vote with their party in the primary. In open primaries, people can vote without being a member of a political party. However, independent voters in New Mexico, often referred to as independents, cannot vote in primary elections. The law requires them to change their registration to vote in another party’s New Mexico primary. KOAT policy expert Brian Sanderoff said there are over 300,000 nonpartisan voters in New Mexico. However, some people argue that if passed, the law could have an impact on future elections by increasing the number of moderate voters turning out in the primaries. “This bill has been introduced many times over the years and somehow never passed. One of the reasons it didn’t pass is because some people think you should be a party member,” Sanderoff said. “Other people, people who support the bill, believe that non-party voters should be disenfranchised and should be able to vote in a party’s primary.” The legislative session begins Tuesday, January 17.

A bill from the New Mexico House of Representatives proposing changes to the state primary election will be reinstated in the 2023 legislative session.

If House Bill 54 is passed, voters would no longer need to declare party registration to vote in a primary. Currently, voters registered as Democrats or Republicans can vote with their party in the primary.

In open primaries, people can vote without being a member of a political party. However, independent voters in New Mexico, often referred to as independents, cannot vote in primary elections.

The law requires them to change their registration to vote in another party’s New Mexico primary.

KOAT political expert Brian Sanderoff said there are over 300,000 independent voters in New Mexico. However, some people argue that if passed, the law could have an impact on future elections by increasing the number of moderate voters turning out in the primaries.

“This bill has been introduced many times over the years and somehow never passed. One of the reasons it didn’t pass is because some people think you should be a party member,” Sanderoff said. “Other people, people who support the bill, believe that non-partisan voters should be disenfranchised and given the opportunity to vote in a party’s primary.”

The legislative period begins on Tuesday 17 January.

Source