KRWG News Election Center

Public financing—where candidates can use public money to run their campaigns instead of bowing to high-dollar donors—has existed in New Mexico for years. But these days, even smaller races cost more than what’s allotted to candidates. One possible solution was Democracy Dollars, coupons distributed to eligible voters, who could donate them to the publicly financed candidates of their choice. The proposal failed by a small percentage when the votes were tallied Tuesday night.

Michael Hernandez

Las Cruces City Council candidates running for seats in Districts 1, 2 and 4 gathered at Amaro Winery to watch the results of their respective municipal elections—and women came away with wins in all three races.

Michael Hernandez spoke with some of the night's winners including City Councilor Kasandra Gandara, NM CAFé organizer Johana Bencomo and former Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce secretary Tessa Abeyta Stuve.

LAS CRUCES, NM – More than 16.5 percent of Doña Ana County registered voters, or 19,825 voters, cast ballots in the county’s first regular local election, Clerk Amanda López Askin announced.  Here is a statement from the Clerk's office:

“With the consolidation of elections and the addition of Same Day Registration during early voting, participation in the 2019 Regular Local Election rose above the abysmal local election turnout of past elections,” Askin said. “But we still have more work to increase the level of participation to what we see in general election years. Democracy works best when all eligible voters cast ballots in every election.” The 2019 Regular Local Election was the first consolidated election and the first election to include Same Day Registration.

Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima was re-elected to a fourth term Tuesday.  After nine rounds in the new ranked choice voting process, he beat former Mayor Bill Mattiace 55% to 45%.

KC Counts talked with the Mayor, who thanked supporters, outlined future projects and discussed the city's minimum wage.


One thing unusual about this year’s election was the number of people running for Las Cruces Mayor.  Ten candidates were on the ballot.

About a dozen people were lined up to vote at Corbett Center on the New Mexico State University campus late Tuesday afternoon.

Many students were there, as were NMSU employees, like Dianne Frank.

Frank said a little more research was in order with ten candidates on the ballot for Las Cruces Mayor.  But she says it’s a positive thing...and she hopes the winner won’t forget some of the issues raised by their opponents.

Judge denies New Mexico GOP's request to halt absentee votes

Nov 5, 2019

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A state district judge has denied an emergency injunction filed by New Mexico Republicans to halt the counting of absentee ballots in a southern county.

Third Judicial District Judge James Martin ruled Tuesday that the state Republican Party and Las Cruces mayoral candidate Mike Tellez failed to provide evidence the Doña Ana County Clerk was causing harm by the way it was tallying absentee ballots.

Polls Open Until 7pm For Municipal Elections

Nov 5, 2019

The Local Election Act established a statewide election in November of odd-numbered years for non-partisan elections and local government ballot questions. Beginning in 2019, many voters will be able to vote for all of these races and questions on the same day.  Voters in Las Cruces are electing a Mayor and city councilors in districts 1, 2, and 4, along with school board members in several districts and a muncipal judge.
The elections that appear on your ballot are determined by the address where you are registered to vote.

Through their adopted ordinance to opt-in to the Local Election, the following municipalities will have elections for their municipal officers in 2019:
     - City of Las Cruces – Council Bill 18-037, Ordinance 2861
     - City of Sunland Park – Ordinance 2019-1
     - Village of Hatch – Ordinance 396

Tuesday, Nov. 5, is Election Day, and all over the state, people will be choosing their local leaders and making decisions about where bond money should go. The polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The state tried out two new things this cycle as officials look to make voting more convenient.

New Mexico GOP sues to halt absentee voting in Las Cruces

Nov 4, 2019

  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Republican Party of New Mexico is seeking an injunction to halt the counting of absentee ballots in a southern county over allegations state and local officials were ignoring requirements over ballot qualifications.

State GOP chairman Steve Pearce said Monday the party filed a lawsuit Friday after the Secretary of State and the Doña Ana County Clerk dismissed Republican concerns whether the absentee ballots were following prerequisites under a new law.

Early Voting Numbers Released For Las Cruces And Doña Ana County

Nov 2, 2019

Nearly 7,500 people have taken advantage of early voting in consolidated municipal elections.  Here is a statement from the Doña Ana County Clerk's office:  More than 200 eligible Doña Ana County voters registered immediately prior to voting during the 2019 Regular Local Election, the first election in which a version of Same Day Registration was offered in the state of New Mexico since its passage by the New Mexico State Legislature. In all, a total of 7,487 Doña Ana County voters cast their ballots early. “We are glad to see that Doña Ana County voters came out to vote early and took advantage of Same Day Registration, and we look forward to seeing more voters on Election Day,” said Doña Ana County Clerk Amanda López Askin.

Incumbent Sunland Park Mayoral Candidate Javier Perea

Nov 1, 2019

Sunland Park Mayoral Candidate Arlean Murillo

Nov 1, 2019

Election 2019: Las Cruces School Board Forum

Oct 24, 2019

Election 2019: Las Cruces City Council District 4 Forum

Oct 17, 2019

Election 2019: Las Cruces City Council District 2 Forum

Oct 17, 2019

Election 2019: Las Cruces City Council District 1 Forum

Oct 17, 2019

Election 2019: Las Cruces City Council District 1 Forum with moderators Fred Martino from KRWG and Eileen Van Wie from the League of Women Voters of Southern New Mexico. The show features two candidates running for District 1 of Las Cruces and they are: Kasandra A. Gandara and Shelly A. Nichols-Shaw.

The ten candidates for Las Cruces Mayor recently met for a televised forum at KRWG Public Media.

They addressed the contention by some in the community that the city needs to be more business-friendly.

Hatch Trustee Candidate Peter Atencio

Oct 14, 2019

  Fred Martino speaks with Doña Ana County clerk  Amanda López Askin about ranked choice voting, the new voting procedure being used in the Las Cruces Municipal Election. 

Election 2019: Las Cruces Mayoral Forum

Oct 10, 2019
Michael Hernandez

Until they can vote, teenagers don’t have much say in the election process. 

That changed for a night as government students from five Las Cruces high schools questioned candidates running for Las Cruces mayor.

Oñate High School officials estimated nearly 300 people attended the forum, which featured nine out of 10 candidates in the race. The nonpartisan event marked efforts by Las Cruces Public Schools and civic groups to educate voters ahead of November’s municipal elections.

Michael Hernandez

The right to vote is a liberty many take for granted—especially young people.

While turnout rates among voters 18 to 29 increased more than any other age group in the 2018 midterms, the 36 percent participation rate was still the lowest among all ages.

To boost those numbers, members of student government at New Mexico State University signed up new voters as part of National Voter Registration Day. The nationwide campaign prompted more than 800,000 people to register in 2018.

Michael Hernandez

A glass of pinot noir pairs well with meat, cheese, and for local voting rights advocates– politics.

Members of the nonpartisan group Indivisible Las Cruces gathered at Amaro Winery to watch round three of the Democratic primary debates.

Ahead of the forum, an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found that Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is gaining support with Democratic voters but she and other candidates are less popular with voters overall.

Michael Hernandez

Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima said the "character and the involvement of the community” convinced him to seek a fourth term.

The mayor announced his bid for re-election at a Tuesday press conference downtown. Miyagishima, whose campaign slogan is “Building a Great City,” said he has many tasks left to accomplish as mayor.

Among his top priorities is developing the site of some 100 acres of land on Lohman Avenue that was once the City’s landfill.