Bernalillo County removes election guide from voting centers

Posted at: 10/31/2012 5:43 PM
Updated at: 11/01/2012 8:34 AM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News

Don't bother looking for the League of Women Voters election guide at the polling places when you go to vote. It won't be there.



New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran has asked county clerks statewide to remove the voter guides from the polling places,

"Our attorney had advised us that the voter guides produced by the League of Women Voters, 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," said Duran in a letter to all of the state's county clerks.

"We wish this didn't happen but we will abide by what she says, of course," said Andrea Targhetta of the League of Women Voters in Albuquerque.

Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver said she will reluctantly go along with it.

"Our attorneys took a look and the point was made that within the guide you have the candidates advocating their positions on the issues, and so for that reason it could be considered electioneering."

" Oh no, no, no way," responded Targhetta. "We are totally nonpartisan. We try our best. Mistakes are made but we try our best to be nonpartisan."

Thousands of voters rely on the guides to help steer them through the long and sometimes confusing ballots, especially the bond issues and constitutional amendments. They have been a common sight in polling places for years.

"I love the voter guide personally," said Toulouse Oliver. "I used the voter guide this year when it came specifically down to the statewide constitutional amendments."

It's possible for the League of Women Voters to go to court to fight the Secretary of State over this issue, but League members KOB Eyewitness News talked to said that appears to be unlikely, with Election Day just a few days away.

The guides can still be found at public libraries, senior centers and some businesses, as well as online at the League of Women Voters site.