The same-day voter registration bill, supported by Governor Bill Richardson and the Democrats' leadership in the legislature, has failed for the current legislative session. This is the bill, included in the governor's call, that allowed registration and voting at the same time with no photo ID requirement. The bill failed when, as noted in the Albuquerque Journal (subscription required), it failed to get enought votes to advance in the Senate Judiciary Committee and was tabled in the House Voters and Elections Committee.
Not included in the governor's call (and therefore unable to be introduced in the 30-day session) was a bill for a photo ID requirement to register and to vote. A Silver City Representative described in a column why she had introduced this bill before:
I carried a bill requiring photo identification at the polls last year during the 60-day session. I was prompted to take action when I learned that New Mexico State University students, many voting for the first time, had been told at the polls that votes in their name already had been cast. They were then forced to vote on provisional ballots; after the election, these students received notices that their provisional ballots were deemed invalid. The students realized that the votes other people cast using their names and addresses were the votes that counted.Her column also adds to what I said before, noting the Democrats' hypocrisy and shamelessness (my words, not hers):
Can you imagine being told the first time you were old enough to vote that someone else had voted for you? Their stories are heartbreaking.
Last year my bill for photo ID was killed by the House Voters and Elections Committee. At the time, the Santa Fe New Mexican had published a poll conducted by the University of New Mexico that revealed 85 percent of New Mexicans want photo ID at the polls.
Perhaps the greatest irony I have seen in Santa Fe is occurring during this session. As I sat in my office writing this op-ed, citizens were lined up in the hallway outside the governor's office, waiting their turn to talk with him during his office hours.As I have said before, anyone who opposes a serious voter identification requirement is objectively promoting vote fraud. That's why a large majority of New Mexico voters (apparently 85%) favor a voter ID law. And this time the legislature listened a little.
In order to speak with him, they had to present a photo ID.