Some upset with mailings for special election

Posted at: 10/30/2013 6:33 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Early voting is under way in Albuquerque’s special abortion rights election, and already some voters are complaining about one side’s use of applications for absentee ballots.

You may get something like it in the mail: an official-looking application for an absentee ballot, attached to an overt political advertisement in favor of banning late-term abortions. Regine Morris got hers in the mail this week. The application is a legal copy of a legal city document. The advertisement comes from a group supporting the ban. They put it together and mailed it out.

“I am surprised,” said Morris. “I was stunned to be quite honest. I don’t think it should be allowed. It looks like a mailing from the city clerk’s office, but it’s not.”

City Clerk Amy Bailey says the mailing is legal, but she wants to set the record straight for city voters.

“It is not coming from my office,” Bailey said. “It’s something important that voters should know, that the city of Albuquerque and the City Clerk’s office don’t advocate for any side of any question on any ballot.”

The application controversy didn’t seem to slow things down on the first day of early voting Wednesday.

“There are only so many opportunities in life and voting is one of them,” said Patricia Chavez, moments after casting her ballot at Manzano Mesa Community Center in Southeast Albuquerque. “That is a critical element for me. Just think of all the countries that don’t have the opportunity.”

Old-fashioned Election Day is Nov. 19.

Some advice for voters: Do your homework before you go to vote. There is just one question on the ballot, but it is a lengthy one. In fact, it’s the proposed city ordinance itself, in English and Spanish. If you study it beforehand on a sample ballot (available at all polling places) you will be able to figure out the way you want to vote, and you won’t be tying yourself and other voters up for a long struggle at the voting booth.