Some voter registrations backlogged in Bernalillo County

Posted at: 10/30/2012 6:24 PM
Updated at: 10/30/2012 7:19 PM
By: Jill Galus, KOB Eyewitness News

A viewer contacted KOB Eyewitness News after she said she registered to vote, but was told she was nowhere to be found in the system.

Catalina Hurtado said when she registered to vote months ago, she did not think there would be any problem showing up at an early polling location, but said, to her surprise, she was turned away and told otherwise.

"I said, no, I registered to vote in August, and I know I did what I was supposed to do," Hurtado said. "I'm eligible to vote, I'm a U.S. citizen, I'm a veteran, I'm going to vote."

Hurtado said she did not take no for an answer when she was told a half dozen times she couldn't vote.

"I would have called President Obama if I could have, I mean, I'm going to vote in this election," Hurtado said.

Hurtado finally got her registration card from the County Clerk's Office Tuesday morning, two weeks after she said they found her original form that was never filed.

"She had several cards that were being input but I said, 'Well no, there must be a mistake because I registered in August,'" Hurtado said. "She said, 'Yeah, ha ha, you would be surprised what we have."

Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver said there's currently a couple hundred cards that are not entered into the computer system, but this only includes those whose forms were incomplete.

"We have 429,000 registered voters here in Bernalillo County. What we're talking about is .001%, you know, of a card that came to us for whatever reason we may not be able to process," Toulouse Oliver said. "In terms of everything that came into us by the deadline or in time pursuant to statute, we have entered all of those into the system."

Hurtado said she registered back in August, the same day she registered her car and got a new license at the MVD.

Registering through a third party, like the MVD, increases the chance for delay, Toulouse Oliver said.

"They need to refine the process," Hurtado said. "If they tell you 'No, you can't vote', how many people will accept that and go away and not vote?"

Registration status can be checked by calling the Bernalillo County Clerk's Office directly at 243-VOTE or online at bernco.gov/clerk, and click on "my voter information".