Tuesday, December 18, 2012

They're Looking Ahead To '14--Already, Plus: Texas BIz Incentives; Example For Us Or Not? And: Same Day Voter Registration  

We're in holiday mode for the final two weeks of the year. Blogging will be a bit lighter and not as tied to the daily news cycle as usual but we'll be with you so do continue to check in for your daily dose of La Politica...

 Well, yes, it is way, way too early to be talking about the 2014 ABQ congressional election. Won't someone please feed the Alligators and tell them to calm down? Well, Good luck. In Gator land the gaming takes no vacation. And that brings us to Congresswoman-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham.

She won't even take the oath of office until January 3, but the Alligators are already giving the inside track for the '14 ABQ GOP congressional nomination to ABQ GOP State Rep. Nate Gentry. He'd have to give up his legislative seat to make the run, but insiders say he doesn't seem all that enamored with the Roundhouse anyway, so why not? A decision from him could come as soon as the end of the legislative session in March.

Gentry's problem? Michelle beat to a pulp a defenseless Janice Arnold-Jones this year, garnering nearly 60% of the vote. What can Nate do to bring her down to 49 percent? Not much. Michelle will need to shoot herself in the foot in order to get this one going, but unlike Governor Martinez we understand the congresswoman-to-be does not have a concealed carry permit...


Governor Martinez is fond of citing Texas as a model for New Mexico when it comes to creating jobs and business, but this interesting article from the NY Times and sent in by a reader calls that advice into question:

Under Mr. Perry, Texas gives out more of the incentives than any other state, around $19 billion a year, an examination by The New York Times has found. Texas justifies its largess by pointing out that it is home to half of all the private sector jobs created over the last decade nationwide. As the invitation to the fund-raiser boasted: “Texas leads the nation in job creation.” Yet the raw numbers mask a more complicated reality behind the flood of incentives, the examination shows, and raise questions about who benefits more, the businesses or the people of Texas. 

$19 billion a year? That's a Texas-sized store they're giving away over in Austin.


We've made it a lot easier in recent years for New Mexicans to cast a vote. The extended period of early voting is probably the best example. Can we make it even easier? How about being able to register to vote and then voting the very same day? We put that question to Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse-Oliver:

I have long been a proponent of same-day registration (although I once  was not).  I definitely think it can work here. The last time we tried  to push a bill was in the 2009 session--the clerks pushed a compromise bill that would have allowed same day registration during early voting  (not on Election Day) because we used e-poll books that would allow us to enter the data on the spot. With the new Vote Centers that makes it possible for Election Day  too...

From my perspective the positive of having same day registration is a significant decline (if not elimination) in provisional balloting which is a real pain in the neck. We also have a lot of issues with people thinking or alleging they have registered either with the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) or  with third party agents. It may or may not boost turnout. This year Bernalillo County had about 2,600 provisional ballots about 75% of which were due to folks  not being registered.

I doubt there will be any specific proposals to this end this year.  What I am focused on right now is some automation of the registration  process - i.e. making the MVD registration purely electronic so the  paperwork doesn't get lost in translation--and online voter registration...

By the way, if you are interested in registering to vote on Bernalillo County, you can get started at this link.

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