Special election will have effect on city races

Posted at: 03/11/2013 9:51 PM
Updated at: 03/11/2013 10:17 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Candidates for Albuquerque mayor and city council will need to win a bigger percentage of the vote from now on.

A measure before Albuquerque voters would require city officials to get 50% of the vote to win instead of the current 40%.

The Albuquerque City Clerk estimates a 17% voter turnout.

Ballots streamed in on the last day of Albuquerque’s special mail-in election.

“It's been very busy," said Albuquerque City Clerk Amy Bailey.

It’s been a busy and controversial special election for Bailey.

She says out of more than 55,000 ballots mailed in or turned in in person, about 4,600 were mailed in without being signed.

Bailey initially allowed people to come in and sign their voter’s oath on the back of the envelope.

That’s until she found out it was illegal to do so. Those votes couldn’t be counted.

Protestors accused her of disenfranchising voters and demanded she count the votes.

“Definitely since the message started going out that you must sign your ballot we saw a huge diminishment in the number of unsigned ballots coming back," she said.

Bailey says all in all, this election has been a learning experience.

"Absolutely. I don't think there's a clerk that will tell you there's not a lesson to be learned in every election," she said. “We will sit down. We will look at it and hopefully apply the good lessons learned to the October election."

The next city election is on October 8th. However, that is an in-person election, not a mail-in.

The October election includes the mayoral race.

If passed, the mayoral candidate would need 50% of the vote to win.