By Stuart Murray
Village of Corrales Local Election
In 2018, the N.M. State Legislature passed the Local Election Act (LEA) allowing municipalities to change how their local elections are conducted. The LEA’s purpose allows a municipality to change their current local election dates to a single ballot in November of odd-numbered years. The proposed benefit puts all local community elections onto one ballot paid for and supervised by the County Clerk. The Local Election Act is being considered by the Corrales Village Council (Governing Body).
The Village can continue the spring, even-numbered year election cycle. However, if the Governing Body decides to change to the LEA election cycle, the mayoral and councillor terms will be affected. Do we shorten the mayoral and council terms by five months (to be on the ballot for the November 2021/2023 elections) or lengthen the mayoral and councillor terms by 20 months (to the 2023/2025 November election cycles)?
If the Governing Body does nothing, the Village will continue to assume the full cost and supervision of the spring elections.Otherwise, the Sandoval County Clerk will pay most, but not all, of the cost from a State fund and assume supervision of the LEA elections. I would urge Village residents to research and read the LEA language passed by the New Mexico Legislature. Information about the Local Election Act is on the Secretary of State's website under Local Election Information (https://www.sos.state.nm.us/voting-and-elections/voter-information-portal/local-election-act-information). Links to House Bills 407 and 98 creating the LEA can also be found there.
Last February, the Village Council initially discussed the pros and cons of the LEA. The discussion can be found on page 8 of the February 9th, 2021 Village Council minutes on the Village website (https://www.corrales-nm.org/meetings). Please read the minutes for some answers to your questions. The Governing Body must declare the Village’s intentions before the June 30, 2021 deadline. The LEA ordinance or resolution will be on the Village Council agenda in May for consideration and action. Let your mayor and councillors know how you feel about the LEA because the Governing Body will decide soon.