two of three incumbent Tucumcari city commissioners are set to have an opponent in the next municipal election, according to unofficial candidate filings announced at City Hall.
District 1 Commissioner Rick Haymaker faces a challenge from Ralph Moya, District 2 Commissioner Ammy Guiterrez faces a challenge from Jonathon Brito.
District 3 Commissioner Ruth Ann Litchfield appears to be running unopposed for re-election.
The candidates’ filing will need to be certified before they can be declared officially on the ballot, said City Clerk Angelica Grey, adding that the election will occur March 1.
In addition to deciding on who will take office on the City Commission, voters will decide the fate of Ordinance 1130, which seeks to amend the city’s local capital outlay gross receipt tax collected for Ute Lake water rights.
The Ute Lake tax is an existing tax, totaling a quarter percent from gross receipt taxes that is used for protection of the city’s water rights at Ute Lake and the construction of an intake and delivery system to bring the water to the city.
The funds – totaling $1.9 million annually — are not being used right now. City Manager Jared Langenegger said the amendment will allow the city to use the funds to repair city infrastructure, including streets, water and sewer lines and the wastewater treatment plants.
On Jan. 1, New Mexico joined 26 other states in providing online voter registration. The new system will allow eligible residents with a state-issued identification to register or update their registration online at the Secretary of State’s website: www.sos.state.nm.us.
The system, developed and administered by the Secretary of State’s office, is meant to ensure more accurate voter rolls while simultaneously saving money by reducing mail-in applications, requiring fewer provisional ballots on Election Day and even shortening wait times at polling places.
Eligible voters will be able to update an existing voter registration or register for the first time anywhere they’re connected to the Internet. Available in both English and Spanish, special consideration has also been made to make the registration system accessible to the visually impaired.
“New Mexicans cherish their right to vote,” said Secretary of State Brad Winter. “Online voter registration is a terrific way to make it easier for citizens to get engaged with their government. Not only will online registration make elections more accessible, it will also lead to more accurate voter rolls. That means less time waiting in line, a lower chance of electoral fraud and more taxpayer money saved. It’s a huge win for New Mexico and New Mexican voters.”
The creation of an online voter registration system was authorized by Senate Bill 643, which the Legislature approved unanimously in March 2015.
“I’m very proud of the hard work demonstrated by our staff,” Winter said. “We want New Mexicans to know that this office is working tirelessly to make elections more accessible, accurate and accountable.” Secretary of State employees worked closely with New Mexico’s 33 county clerks, the state’s Motor Vehicle Division and even other states to ensure a complete, easy-to-use system.
Across the nation, the Pew Charitable Trusts reports that states already using online voter registration list cost savings, reduced stress on elections officials and increased voter satisfaction as the major benefits of introducing online voter registration. With this launch, officials say that New Mexico will use 21st-century technology to create more accurate voter rolls, reduce the potential for voter fraud and promote electoral participation by all eligible New Mexicans.
More information, as well as the online registration system, can be found at www.sos.state.nm.us.