SOS directs county clerks to remove League of Women Voters guides

Posted at: 10/31/2012 10:26 AM
Updated at: 10/31/2012 11:17 AM
By: staff

The New Mexico Secretary of State has directed all county clerks to remove League of Women voter guides from early polling places in New Mexico.

In a letter sent to all county clerks, Bureau of Elections director Bobbi Shearer told clerks that  the bureau's attorney believes that the nonpartisan guides - which contain position statements by candidates - cannot be handed out or kept in the clerk's office or early voting locations because they constitute electioneering.

Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver told KOB she was contacted by the office last week.

"I was contacted last Thursday by the Secretary of State and was asked whether I had copies of the League of Women Voters guide at polling places," she said. "I said yes, it's something that's been done in every general election."

Toulouse Oliver said she conferred with the county's attorney, who told her to remove the guides.

The issue is over, Toulouse Oliver said, unless the League of Women Voters decides to ask a court to weigh in.

Toulouse Oliver said she has not gotten any complaints about the guides, which have been available for years.

"I get a lot of positive feedback about them," she said. "People often aren't aware of all the issues and candidates and they really appreciate having all the information."

The guides are still available at public libraries, senior centers and businesses, as well as on the League's website.