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2016 Voter Guide

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Secretary of State Candidates:

Nora Espinoza

Nora Espinoza

Republican

Would you support any changes to New Mexico’s voting procedures, such as Same Day Voter Registration, mail-in voting, or requiring photo IDs at the polls? Please explain.

Support Voter ID, with free IDs to those who don’t have one. Albuquerque has had it for ten years, with zero complaints. The US is about the only country in the world without Voter ID. I oppose Same-Day Voter Registration. It allows non-New Mexicans to pass through on Election Day, register, vote, and leave the state. Once that vote is cast it cannot be un-counted.

What actions would you take to increase voter registrations? Would you favor an “opt out” system at motor vehicle departments where eligible citizens are automatically registered to vote? If not, why not?

Registration is extremely easy and can be done on-line at any time. The only thing preventing someone from registering to vote is not wanting to register. I oppose automatic registration because legal non-citizens, temporary visa holders, and certain felons are all eligible to apply for driver’s licenses, but are ineligible to vote. Registering them “automatically,” combined with the lack of Voter ID, decreases electoral integrity.

What changes, if any, would you support in campaign finance reporting? (65 words)

Our law is unenforceable due to three key federal court decisions in 2009, 2010 and 2012. We must have bright-line provisions that clearly define who must report and what has to be disclosed—including the dark money participants, such as George Soros, who funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars to candidates like my opponent, using multiple “shell” PACs. I support legislation to address these deficiencies.

How have your abilities and experience prepared you for the duties of this office?

My background as a businesswoman and legislator taught me the distinction between legislative discretion and administrative duties. My opponent, who’s a professional political consultant, indicates she’ll use the SOS position to impose her ideas. That’s wrong. The office is administrative. The SOS must follow the law—not attempt to create law. The SOS must ensure elections integrity without favoring any one group over any other.

Maggie Toulouse Oliver

Maggie Toulouse Oliver

Democrat

Would you support any changes to New Mexico’s voting procedures, such as Same Day Voter Registration, mail-in voting, or requiring photo IDs at the polls? Please explain.

I support same-day registration as long as ballots are verified for eligibility before they are officially counted. I would also like to expand mail-in voting in New Mexico. I support our current voter identification laws and any legislation that improves the security and integrity of our elections, but not at the expense of diminishing access to the polls or restricting the right to vote.

What actions would you take to increase voter registrations? Would you favor an “opt out” system at motor vehicle departments where eligible citizens are automatically registered to vote? If not, why not?

I fully support an easier, more accessible registration process including Automatic Voter Registration linked to the MVD/online voter registration system. I support this concept whether the opt-out option is available at the time of registration or afterward. Once the majority of citizens are automatically registered, other resources can be dedicated to helping those who do not have contact with the MVD register to vote.

What changes, if any, would you support in campaign finance reporting?

There are too many gaps in current systems. I will write rules that are easy to comply with so that information is reported in a way that the public can easily understand, and see the relationships between candidates and donors. I will work with legislators to make changes that require the highest levels of disclosure for every dollar spent in support or opposition of candidates.

How have your abilities and experience prepared you for the duties of this office?

As Bernalillo Clerk since 2007, I’ve made protecting the right to vote, improving the integrity of elections and ensuring accountable leadership top priorities. My 9.5+ years of experience running elections in the largest county in the state, combined with my work toward ensuring accountability and transparency in my office, and elections, have prepared me to make much-needed changes in the Secretary of State’s office.