Serving the High Plains

Most important thing is helping voters to vote

With midterm elections fast approaching, we should be doing everything we can to help the people of New Mexico participate in our democracy and have their voices heard at the ballot box. That’s why the Center for Voter Information (CVI) was disappointed to see the op-ed published in the Eastern New Mexico News and Quay County Sun -- “Register to vote -- and watch out for mailers,” on Oct. 4.

The op-ed has the potential to create distrust about the important work that civic engagement organizations do to empower voters in New Mexico.

CVI and our partner organization, the Voter Participation Center (VPC), are non-profit and non-partisan organizations that have been around for two decades and have helped more than 6 million people register to vote. Building on the long legacy of third-party voter registration efforts in our country, we primarily use mailings to do this important work, bringing democracy directly to voters’ doorsteps and giving historically underrepresented communities the opportunity to exercise their right to vote. We want to make sure that no New Mexico voters are left behind ahead of the 2022 midterms.

CVI and VPC recently mailed 162,450 voter registration applications and 121,547 vote-by-mail applications to 233,551 eligible New Mexico citizens, to encourage participation in our democracy.

While our mailers make clear we are not affiliated with “any governmental election office,” we do work closely with election offices to achieve the shared goal of helping eligible Americans to vote. The forms that voters receive in CVI mailings are the same that they would receive from their local election office and are another legitimate way to register or vote.

The goal of VPC and CVI is to give voters all the resources they need to access the ballot box. If you’ve received a voter registration form or vote-by-mail application, you can simply fill it out and use the pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelope to send your form directly to your local election office and know you’re doing your part to be vote-ready this November.

Finally, the op-ed erroneously claims that third-party organizations like ours might have ulterior motives for sending out mailings. CVI and VPC will never solicit donations in our mailings and never use your personal information for anything other than voter registration and voter turnout. Our one and only goal is to make voting more accessible for the people of New Mexico, and we have a proven track record of doing so. Our organizations alone have registered over 30,000 New Mexicans.

There’s one point that the author of this op-ed makes that we agree with. It is crucial to ensure that you are registered to vote and engaged in our democracy ahead of the midterm elections. CVI believes that voting is a fundamental right and a core to who we are as a nation.

I think we can all agree nothing is more important than ensuring that every eligible voter in New Mexico can easily access the ballot box this election season.

— Tom Lopach

Voter Participation Center and the Center for Voter Information