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Las Cruces voters puzzled by ‘ranked choice’ voting despite outreach efforts

Tuesday was a historic day for voting in Las Cruces. For the first time, 239 city residents ranked their candidates in order of their preference. However, some voters left the polls puzzled.

COMPLETE GUIDE: What you should know about Ranked Choice Voting

“It’s very confusing,” said Caroline Feagan, who left without casting her ballot. “One thing I didn’t like is (the ballot) didn’t put Republican or Democrat beside the name.”

Fegan told ABC-7 that she wanted to do more research before returning to the polls.

“I didn’t do my homework, I guess,” she said with a chuckle.

According to the Doña Ana County Clerk’s Office, municipal elections are non-partisan in the state of New Mexico, meaning no candidate is marked as a democrat or republican.

“Unless a candidate chooses to promote what party they are connected to, it is not a party base,” said Amanda López Askin, the County Clerk. “That’s why there is no primary.”

A whopping ten candidates are running for mayor, however, it is not mandatory that voters rank everyone.

“I just try to empower them to show up and vote,” López Askin said. “Vote as they always voted. Pick their winner and hopefully they choose to rank the ballot beyond that.”

“I had to be very careful, because there was one mayor that I definitely wanted and one mayor that I definitely didn’t,” said Janet Reed.

Early voting will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until November 2nd. Election Day is November 5th.

KVIA 2019

Article Topic Follows: New Mexico

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