Many races are uncontested in the general election, but several bond questions and a constitutional amendment will be on the ballot.
With the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 8 general election in the rear view mirror, some important dates and reminders for voters were reviewed by Lincoln County Clerk Rhonda Burrows. Applications for absentee ballots can be downloaded at http://www.lincolncountynm.gov, or call the clerk’s office at 1-800-687-2705, extension 6.
Sample ballots can be viewed and printed online at https://portal.sos.state.nm.us/OVR/WenPages/SampleBallot.aspx, or the county clerk’s website.
Early voting begins at 10 a.m., Oct. 22, at the Horton Complex in Ruidoso, the former middle school at 237 Service Road and at 8 a.m., Oct. 24, at the Lincoln County Courthouse, 300 Central Avenue, Carrizozo. In Ruidoso, the early voting center will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Voting will occur at the courthouse during regular work hours, except for Nov. 5, the Saturday before the election when hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and both centers will be open, signaling the last day of early voting.
On election day, voters can cast their ballots at any of six voting centers in the county no matter where they live. The centers are located at Corona Village Hall, Capitan Municipal Schools, the county courthouse in Carrizozo, Hondo Valley District Schools, the Ruidoso Downs Senior Center and the Ruidoso Convention Center. To speed up the check-in process, bring your voter information car with the barcode that can be scanned at the check-in station. Non-peak hours usually are between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The “super ballot” for Lincoln County, which reflects races in all the various districts and statewide shows that voters will be able to reject or approve a $25 million general obligation bond to build a new hospital in Ruidoso, to be secured by property taxes, but to be repaid through the lease payments from Presbyterian Healthcare Services.
A constitutional amendment is proposed to Article 2, Section 13 of the state constitution “to protect community safety by granting courts new authority to deny release on bail pending trial for dangerous defendants in felony cases while retaining the right to pretrial release for non-dangerous defendants who do not poses a flight risk.”
According to an analysis by proponents, the wrong defendants are released to endanger the community, while others who pose little threat are held in jail before trial at a significant cost to taxpayers. The change would give state district judges new authority in deciding the conditions of pretrial release for defendants. The change also would serve those who are not dangerous and do not pose a flight risk, but cannot afford a money bond. More space would be freed up in county jails.
Four state bond questions will be posed to voters, but the tax rate of 1.36 mills for bond repayment will remain the same as in 2015. One mill equates to $1 for each $1,000 of assessed taxable property value. The State Board of Finance officials estimate that over a 10-year period, the four issues on the ballot would increase the average annual property tax bill by $9.34 per $100,000 of asset value, with Bond Issue C accounting for the majority of the increase at $7.14.
Bond Question A asks whether to approve the sale of $15,440,000 in bonds to make capital expenditures for certain senior citizens’ facilities improvement, construction and equipment acquisition projects by providing for a general property tax.
Question B would authorize the insurance and sale of library acquisition bonds totaling $10,167,000 for capital expenditures for academic, public school, tribal and public library resource acquisitions and to levy the appropriate property tax for repayment. The projects specifically designated for funding include $3 million for the Cultural Affairs Department, $3.25 million for the Higher Education Department and $3 million for the Public Education Department.
Question C would authorize general obligation bonds for the sale of higher education, special schools and tribal schools’ capital improvement and acquisition bonds totaling $142,356,000 to make capital expenditures and to impose the appropriate property tax levy for repayment. The breakdown shows $12.7 million for Eastern New Mexico University and $32.35 million for community colleges, including $700,000 to renovate student services at the Ruidoso campus.
Question D would authorize the sale of $18,198,000 in public safety capital improvement and acquisition bonds for state police, public safety communications and national guard facilities statewide and to impose the necessary property tax for repayment.
Four judges are listed for judicial retention. They are Barbara J. Vigil for justice of the state supreme court, and Jonathan B. Sutin, Tim L. Garcia and M. Monica Zamora for judges on the state court of appeals.
Most of the county and many district races offer only the winners of the Republican primary with no Democratic opposition.
In contested races, Judith K. Nakamura, a Republican faces Michael E. Vigil, a Democrat for justice of the state supreme court, and Stephen G. French, a Republican, faces Democrat Julia J. Vargas for another seat as justice of the state supreme court.
Incumbent John Patrick Suggs faces a write-in challenger for the position of 12th Judicial District Attorney, Albert Richard Greene III.
Greg Nibert, a Republican, is running against Democrat Richard James Garcia for the District 59 seat as state representative. Incumbent State Sen. Ted Barela, a Republican, is challenged by Democrat Elizabeth Liz Stefanics for the District 39 post.
Republican Nora Espinoza, former District 59 state representative, is running against Maggie Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat, for secretary of state. Incumbent Steve Pearce, a Republican, is challenged by Merrie Lee Soules, a Democrat, for U.S. Representative from the 2nd Congressional District, and by write-in candidate Jack McGrann, who also ran in 2014.
In the presidential/vice presidential race, the Republican nominees are Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence; the Democratic nominees are Hillary Rodham Clinton and Timothy Michael Kaine; The Socialism & Liberation Party nominees are Gloria La Riva and Dennis Banks; the Libertarian Party nominees are Gary Johnson and Bill Weld; the Constitutional Party nominees are Darrell Castle and Scott Bradley; the Green Party nominees are Jill Stein and Ajumu Baraka; the American Delta Party nominees are “Rocky” Roque De La Fuente and Michael Steinbery; and the Better for America Party nominees are Evan McMullin and Nathan Johnson.
Posted on October 11, 2016 by Dianne L Stallings