Municipal election’s candidates, officials confirmed

Staff Report

The Tucumcari City Commission has approved the ballot for the upcoming election set for March 1.

Early voting will run Feb. 10-26 at City Hall.

Commission seats in districts 1, 2 and 3 are up election for four-year terms.

The candidates for these districts — and the order they will appear on the ballot — are:

District 1: Rick Haymaker (incumbent) and Ralph Moya.

District 2: Jonathan R. Brito and Ammy Gutierrez (incumbent).

District 3: Ruth Ann Litchfield, (incumbent) will run unopposed.

Filing for candidacies in districts 1, 2 and 3 took place on Jan. 5 at City Hall.

The following Precinct Board memebers were appointed: Districts 1 – 5 Convention Center.
James Kleinsasset, presiding judge
Doris King, election judge, clerk, translator
Christine A. Otero, election judge, clerk, translator
Sylvia A. Wampler, election judge, clerk, translator
Angelina Dominguez, election judge, clerk

Absentee- Tucumcari City Hall
Gloria Donovan, presiding judge
Edward Perea, election judge, clerk,
Lucinda Nials, election judge, clerk,

Alternates
Irma Zacharias and Sally Maestas

Precinct Board election training will take place 10 a.m., Feb. 24 at City Hall.

City voters also will be asked to decide whether to amend the use of the city’s gross receipt tax.

The ballot measure reads as follows:

“Shall the City of Tucumcari expand the use of the one-fourth (1/4) of one percent (1 percent) of the Municipal Capital Outlay Gross Receipts Tax funds (Ordinance Number 980) from the acquisition, construction and maintenance of a Ute Lake Water Treatment and Delivery System to also include municipal infrastructure improvement projects including but not limited to: construction and repair of streets and street lighting, construction and repair of water and sewer lines and treatment systems, construction and repair of municipal buildings and structures, construction and repair of sidewalks and pedestrian improvements?”

The city’s existing local capital outlay gross receipt tax is a quarter percent from gross receipt taxes that the city uses for protection of its 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 — are currently only being used for the protection of city’s water rights.

City Manager Jared Langenegger said the city is fortunate to have wells that refresh at a rate that is greater than residents’ demand. He said the amendment will allow the city to use the funds collected from the GRT following the passing of the question by voters for the repair city infrastructure, including streets, water and sewer lines and the wastewater treatment plants.

“The existing $1.9 million will remain untouched and used only for the protection of the city’s water rights,” Langenegger said.

Gray said to be eligible to vote in the March 1 municipal election, residents must be registered by Feb.  2. She said any person who will be 18 by Election Day is eligible to register.

Voter registration forms are available from the Quay County Clerk’s Office, City Hall, Tucumcari Public Library and the Motor Vehicle Department.

Voters should also complete new forms if they have moved or changed their name, Gray said.

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 photo identification to register or update their registration online at the Secretary of State’s website: www.sos.state.nm.us.

Using a current or expired driver’s license or other state-issued I.D., 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 passed the Legislature unanimously in March 2015. With the launch of the system, the Secretary of State is a full year ahead of the required deadline for online registration.

“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, Winter said.

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, 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.

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