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Secretary Of State's Office: Chaves County Seeks Five Advisory Ballot Questions


  SANTA FE—The Office of the Secretary of State today received a resolution requesting that five advisory ballot questions be placed on the general election ballot.   Last week the county manager had sent a letter stating he “would like to see” if the county could put certain advisory questions on the ballot.   The response from the Secretary of State last week was that the advisory questions were not allowable on a general election ballot under New Mexico law.  However, today Chaves County passed a resolution that included five advisory questions (shown below). 

In light of the Supreme Court’s order Friday permitting such questions, Ken Ortiz, spokesman for the Office of the Secretary of State, said, “The Chaves County resolution has been forwarded to our legal counsel for review.”  The resolution notes that the Supreme Court cited a provision of the Election Code that allows the county to submit a resolution within 30 days of the election.  The county also asked that the one ballot already sent to a uniformed or overseas voter be replaced with an updated ballot that has the advisory questions on it.   The Chaves County resolution reads in part:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Chaves County Board of Commissioners that the commissioners respectfully request that the New Mexico Secretary of State place the following non-binding advisory questions on theNovember 4, 2014 General Election ballot:

Right to Work:  Are you in favor of the Chaves County Commission enacting a Right-to-Work ordinance that would make our County more competitive for jobs and create economic opportunities for existing and future businesses?

Voter ID:  Are you in favor of the Chaves County Commission enacting an ordinance that would require voters to present a photo ID to protect the integrity of the ballot?

Concealed Carry:  Are you in favor of the Chaves County Commission enacting an ordinance that would permit the concealed carry of handguns within Chaves County?

Expansion of the Vermin Ordinance to include Wolves:  Are you in favor of the Chaves County Commission amending the Vermin Ordinance to include the prohibition of harboring, releasing, transporting and the releasing of wolves within Chaves County, as wolves are a threat to livestock and children?

Public Works Minimum Wage Act (Davis Bacon):  Are you in favor of the Chaves County Commission enacting an ordinance eliminating the Public Works minimum wage requirement on all projects within the county?

Secretary of State Dianna Duran had requested that the Supreme Court “provide evidence of any kind that there is any provision in New Mexico law that authorizes advisory questions, or polls, on a general election ballot. “

The Supreme Court did not provide that, but ordered the ballot questions on the ballot in Bernalillo and Santa Fe Counties anyway.   Duran said she and her legal team are studying the resolution.