The New Mexico state legislature is in its 60 day session. (Legislative sessions in odd-numbered years are 60 days long here; sessions in even-numbered years are 30 days long and can only consider topics included in the "governor's call".) And the legislature is continuing its actions against New Mexico's voters.
As it has previously, the legislature has killed another voter ID bill on a straight party-line vote. This time it was all the Democrats, and none of the Republicans, in a legislative committee that voted against this bill and the people of New Mexico. That leaves New Mexico law in the state described by the Albuquerque Journal previously (registration/subscription required):
Current New Mexico law, approved by the Democratic-controlled Legislature, allows voters to identify themselves in one of several ways that don't involve a photo ID, including a “verbal or written statement” by the voter giving their name, registration address and year of birth.In other words, current state law says you can just walk in and claim to be someone, and you can vote in their place.
ID opponents insist there is "no evidence" that vote fraud is occurring. I guess those folks can't read, or simply assume anyone on the "other side" is lying. But a Silver City Representative described in a column last year what impelled her to press a voter ID requirement.
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.There's a new irony this year. A new statewide rule (previously used in a number of the jurisdictions within the state) requires a valid photo ID to view publicly available records in New Mexico's courts. In other words, you have to show who you are to examine a public record, but anyone can walk in to a polling place and say they're you and vote in your place and the people running the polling place are prohibited from trying to determine if that person is really who they say they are.
In order to speak with him, they had to present a photo ID.
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, but that doesn't matter since that 85% obviously doesn't include the Democrats in the legislature. I wonder why the Democrats are insisting on this. (Maybe I shouldn't wonder.)