SANTA FE — A year after a GOP filibuster killed the bill, New Mexico lawmakers pushed toward final passage Wednesday of legislation that would automate some voter registration and take other steps intended to make it easier to cast a ballot.
The proposal — a priority of Democratic legislative leaders — won Senate approval on a 27-14 vote Wednesday after almost three hours of debate, sending the bill back to the House for agreement on amendments made in a Senate committee.
Sen. Katy Duhigg, an Albuquerque Democrat and co-sponsor of the bill, described the measure as a critical step toward protecting and expanding voting rights in a state that ranks in the bottom 10 for voter registration per capita.
The 47-page bill is designed, she said, to strengthen access to the polls on tribal land, streamline the restoration of felons’ voting rights and automate voter registration during some Motor Vehicle Division transactions.
It would also establish a permanent absentee voting list and set out requirements for ballot drop boxes.