November 4th, 2008
01:25 PM ET
11 years ago

Some absentee ballots MIA in NM county

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Some voters took advantage of early voting in New Mexico."]
(CNN) - Officials in Dona Ana County, New Mexico say they are having problems with absentee ballots. But it's unclear just how many voters may not see their vote count.

Jess Williams, public information officer for the county, said of 11,985 absentee ballots requested, 8,141 have been processed. As of midday Tuesday, the number of outstanding absentee ballots is 3,844.

And the Bureau of Elections is still getting calls from residents who have not yet received their absentee ballots, Williams said. He said those voters may go to the polling place where they are registered to request a provisional ballot and they will be allowed to vote.

While that may be an option for some, many voters vote absentee because health problems keep them from going to the polls. Others are away at college, in the military, or out of town for other reasons, and showing up in person may not be possible.

In order to be counted, absentee ballots must reach the county clerk's Office no later than 7pm local time on election day. Absentee ballots also can be delivered to polling places on election day, but only the voter can deliver it.

Both Democrats and Republicans in the county say they are getting calls from voters who feel they've been left out.

Chris Salas, a spokesman for the county Democratic party, said the party office was getting "tons of calls" from people complaining because they have not gotten ballots. Gen Mitchell, a volunteer at the Dona Ana County Republican party, said "legally they were supposed to have them [absentee ballots] out, and they didn't get them out."

Filed under: New Mexico • Voter Problems
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Curtis

    God Bless you "Independent In NY". I agree with you 100%. I know I voted for McCain, but we are all Americans and that makes us brothers and sisters. I truely hope that our family can forgive one another and help unite the American people again.

    November 4, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  2. marlyt51

    When you have nothing to lose you are willing to do anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. carlo

    It's time to get the U.N. in to start observing our elections. Our democracy is more important than our pride.

    November 4, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. Frank

    This is such a flawed system, the process is full of loop holes and is created with the invitation for voter fraud. it shouldnt be this difficult. How hard is it to create a process where I check a box that says who I want to be the president of the country. The company that creates this process is the real terrorist, we're being attacked from the inside.

    November 4, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. Cuyahoga Falls, OH


    What do you mean "Here we go again with the GOP trickery??" Do you honestly believe that the Democratic ticket doesn't play the same game? Remember the thousands upon thousands of absentee ballots Al Gore wanted thrown out in the 2000 election in Florida, because they were mainly military ballots, which leans towards the right. Sure, he wanted a recount, but only in democratic counties, not the entire state. Stealing an election...when will the whining stop and the look to the future begin? Here's a question for you...if Obama were to lose, would it be legitimate in your eyes? Let me answere for you...NO, regardless of the circumstances.

    One thing we do agree on...ALL votes should count!

    November 4, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  6. Heather

    hmmm....Sounds like Obama is hard at work stealing those ballots.....

    November 4, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. Ron

    Bobby Kennedy, Jr. wrote a very good article about this exact topic in the last Rolling Stone (the one with Obama on the cover). Vote suppression is a common Republican tactic.

    November 4, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  8. S. Boatman

    Most Of There Votes Are Probably Democratic!

    November 4, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  9. Chris in Arizona

    I'd say call out the National Guard. Send them all over the state looking for voters who cannot make it in due to being elderly, frail, lacking transport, things like this. Take ballots to them, and bring the completed ballots back to the polling places.

    November 4, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  10. 47yo male for McCain

    Cool! It must have been a republican who took them.

    November 4, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  11. Martha D. in Beautiful North Idaho

    Our election system is not the only thing in need of reform ,our postal system has been going done hill for years! I blame the USPO! At least in my small town my neighbors are honest and kind enough to deliver my mail to me when the USPO screws up! No wonder identity theft is on the rise!
    Everyone's vote should count, period!

    November 4, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. Thinking man

    I really hope people didn't wait until ELECTION DAY to complain about not having received an absentee ballot. If so, sounds more like ABSENT-MINDED to me.

    November 4, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  13. Jude

    Here we go....the GOP trying to steal the election. If Obama loses...we know that the GOP and their dirty tactics are at fault. This is nothing more than voter suppresion.

    The way to beat the cr*p out of this nonsense is to get everyone out to vote and vote for Obama/Biden. Lets just clearly beat them up so that there is no question, no doubt who won the election. If it ends in a landslide for Obama we can put to rest the divisive politics and heal this nation. Come together as one nation!!!

    Obama/ go out and vote and get your gradma, ma, pop, bro, and sis too. God bless

    November 4, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. julie

    Turner in GA- How is it the Gop when it has been the dems. that have so been for early voting. The 3thousand or so ballots are prob. all voting for mccain and it's the dems. that somehow missplaced them. If it were up to the gop everyone would get 1 fair vote. Not the 40 or so fraud votes for 1 person from acorn!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  15. TDB

    Isn't it normal for this many absentee balots to not show up on time? Hey CNN, howw about putting it in perspective for us?

    November 4, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. Nikkie

    My husband and I received our absentee ballots from NM. He's in the military and for some of those who have commented, NM usually goes Democratic. I sent mine back in plenty of time and we overnighted his last night. Due to his miltiary service he wasn't available until Sunday to complete his ballot, but being that whoever is elected will be his Commander in Chief, he wanted his vote to be counted.

    November 4, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  17. Kris in NY

    We can file our taxes online .... you'd think we'd be able to vote onine. That would take care of missing ballots and I imagine a lot more people would vote if they didn't have to stand in line. Hmm – just a thought.

    November 4, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  18. denise nc


    November 4, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  19. arc, Lugano CH

    NOBAMA November 4th, 2008 1:41 pm ET
    Right, the GOP is behind this? What about Black Panthers intimidating voters in Philly? That must be the GOP too!
    Black Panthers wouldn't intimidate me.

    Does everything Black intimidate you?

    Poor white trash is going out of fashion in the United States of America.

    November 4, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  20. Sue

    This always amazes me....
    if you don't know where they are, then how do you know what "they" are or if "they" ever existed? The district clerks that are in control of the election process are corrupt and they are engaging in nefarious activities to disenfranchise voters. Those "missing" ballots are clearly connected to PEOPLE who have voted already... so if they are acknowledging them as "missing", then these people should be contacted to vote again. I hate incompetent people in control of our voting process!!

    November 4, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  21. Jax, FL

    I can't wait to hear what screw ups start occurring in FL. I'm sure we are next. I like Obama but he has manchurian candidate written all over him.

    November 4, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  22. Sam, Seattle

    Lets call a spade a spade, Republicans have for decades now done all they can to supress votes. In Colorado republicans are going door to door collecting absentee ballots telling the voters that they will fill in the vote for them, this is in Pueblo (highly Democrat).Obama and Democrats have been called anti-american..please! How can anyone even want to be Republican, they have shown to be as anti-american as you can get. The GOP is done, may history judge them correctly.

    November 4, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. SE NM

    Unfortunate but true.... Incompetence is often exploited by corruption; such as the case we are seeing in New Mexico. There are still naive people out there who think that this can't happen in their area. Those ballots are probably in the belly of McCain's plane that flew out of Roswell yesterday; right next to the $150,000 wardrobe of Palin.

    November 4, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  24. Bobbi

    Hugh, you HAD a congress controlled by the GOP with a Republican president. you know what happened? They spent money 17% FASTER! That's right, your so-called "conservative" GOP spent taxpayer money like drunken sailors on shore leave. But not YOUR money, because they don't have the courage to raise taxes to pay for their spending sprees. No, they BORROW the money, jack up 500 billion dollar deficits, and make our children and grandchildren pay for it.

    The highest ten deficits in our nation's history were presided over by Bushes: Seven by Dubya, three by his father.

    But you people still think Republicans are good with money.

    November 4, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. NOMccainPalin

    What the hell is wrong with this country what happen to the Democrats please do not let the the right wing GOP steal this election again.

    November 4, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
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