No contested county offices appear on the ballot for November’s elections in Quay County, but an open seat in the governor’s office and the chance to extend term limits for county officials give local voters incentive to show up to the polls.
Early voting began Tuesday and the county courthouse will be open for voting from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. The general election is Nov. 2. The courthouse will also open Saturday, Oct. 30 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the last day of early and absentee voting.
County clerk Ellen White said voter turnout in Quay County has increased over the last few elections, and she estimated between one third and one half of county voters vote early.
“On election day, everybody’s voice does count. It’s your government, your choices, and you need to be proactive and vote,” White said.
White said she considered the proposed state constitutional amendment 2 to be one of the more important items on the ballot. The amendment would extend term limits of elected county officials to three four-year terms instead of two.
District 3 Quay County commissioner Franklin D. McCasland is one such official at the end of his second term who is not eligible to run for re-election. He said he is in favor of the proposed amendment.
“In my opinion, it takes several years to really get a good handle on how the budget, the policies, the entire procedure works. Once you get somebody up and going and understanding the process very well, it’s time for them to leave,” McCasland said.
The amendment would allow incumbent officials a chance for more time in their offices and may make it more difficult for would-be challengers to take their places.
On Monday, Quay County had 5,698 registered voters. Only one federal contest is on the November ballot, but a number of state offices are being contested along with proposed constitutional amendments and bond issues.
Democrat: Ben Ray Lujan (incumbent)
Republican: Thomas E. Mullens
Governor and Lieutenant Governor
Democrat: Diane Denish and Brian Colon face
Republican: Susana Martinez and John A. Sanchez
Write-in candidate: Kenneth A. Gomez
Secretary of State
Democrat Mary Herrera (incumbent)
Republican: Dianna Duran
Democrat: Hector Balderas (incumbent)
Republican: Errol J. Chavez
Democrat James B. Lewis (incumbent)
Republican Jim D. Schoonover
Democrat: Gary K. King (incumbent)
Republican: Matthew E. Chandler
Commisioner of Public Lands
Democrat: Ray Bennett Powell
Republican: Matthew D. Rush
Judge of the Court of Appeals
Democrat: Robert Robles (incumbent)
Republican challenger Ned S. Fuller
Public Regulation Commisioner
Democrat: Stephanie L. Dubois
Republican: Patrick H. Lyons
Charles Daniels (incumbent)
Judge of the Court of Appeals
Democrat: Linda M. Vanzi
Democrat: Tim L. Garcia
State Representative, District 67
Republican: Dennis J. Roch,
Democrat: David Joel Garnett
District 3 county commissioner
Republican: Brad L. Bryant
Democrat: Janie L. Murray
Democrat: Joe Schallert
Democrat: Sue Smith Moore
Constitutional amendments (vote yes or no)
Amendment 1: Permits the establishment of a college scholarship program for New Mexico military war veterans.
Amendment 2: Allows county officials to serve three consecutive terms instead of two.
Amendment 3: Modernizes language on qualified electors by removing language denigrating persons with developmental disabilities, adopting federal requirements to vote, defining mental incapacity for voting purposes and restricting felons from voting except as restored by statute.
Amendment 4: Provides a property tax exemption for property of a Veterans' Organization chartered by the United States Congress.
Amendment 5: Allows the appointment of certain former members of the legislature to civil offices in the state in a limited situation.
Bond issues (vote yes or no)
Question A would provide $7.79 million to senior citizen facility improvements. Question B would provide $7 million for library acquisitions. Question C would provide $5.1 million for public school books, equipment, materials and buses. Question D would provide $155 million for higher educational and special schools.