If you’re looking for the merits and demerits of the various candidates for governor and attorney general, there are plenty of other posts on this page or podcasts at TippingPointNM.com. We’re here to discuss the so-called “down-ballot” or lower-profile issues before voters this November. In person early voting at the county clerk’s office begins Tuesday, October 11 while early voting sites open on Saturday, October 22nd.
JUDGES: without putting too fine a point on it, New Mexico’s judiciary is in need of a massive overhaul. It is one of the primary bodies responsible for the States horrendous crime problems. Currently, New Mexico’s Supreme Court is 100% Democrat with 4 of the 5 having been nominated by Gov. Lujan Grisham (only Michael Vigil who was elected in 2018 and faces retention this election was NOT appointed by MLG).
There are numerous other Metro Court and other positions, most of which are unopposed, but there are retention elections and those are VERY IMPORTANT. In New Mexico a judge must must receive at least 57% of the vote. So, it IS possible for voters outraged by deteriorating public safety conditions to push back against the judiciary in hopes of getting better judges on the bench.
In terms of constitutional amendments Amendment 1 would tap into New Mexico’s Land Grant Permanent Fund to create a host of early childhood programs, but most significantly universal pre-K. RGF has written extensively on the serious problems with this proposal here and here (for starters).
Amendment 2 would allow the Legislature to fund infrastructure projects for PRIVATE benefit. We have serious concerns about this proposal.
Amendment 3 would require that an appointed judge shall be up for election at the first general election one year after being appointed. At the election, the winning candidate would serve the remainder of the term in effect. This amendment actually gives nominated judges an opportunity to consolidate control over their seat before appearing on the ballot which may be of concern.
Bernalillo County voters are being asked to amend the County charter. After some difficulty finding out exactly what changes would be made we reached out to the County. You can read for yourself here what it would do (this information is not on the actual ballot). We have no problem with the amendment.
As a general rule we recommend voting against ALL bonds, not because all of them are bad or wasteful, but because local voters have a tendency to blindly vote YES on nearly all bonds. Bonds are simply government debt which must be paid off by your property tax dollars. Broadly speaking voters should be more careful about these, but bonds are almost never voted down at least in the Albuquerque metro area (this may not be the case in other areas of the State, so vote accordingly).