Election Websites: New Mexico

Election Websites: New Mexico

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Researchers assessed state election websites for the Pew Center on the States between May-November 2010, using detailed criteria evaluating the content, lookup tools, and usability. Websites may have changed since they were assessed. See methodology (PDF).

Strengths include:

  • Comprehensive information about ballot measures, including full texts, summaries, and nonpartisan analyses.
  • One of five states to provide job descriptions for elected officials.
  • Contact information for state and local election officials.
  • Archive of election results dating to 1994.
  • Lookup tools for voter registration and provisional ballot status, and a locator for polling places.

Recommended improvements include:

  • Provide information about who is eligible to vote in the state (50 states offer).
  • List hours for polling places on Election Day (49 states offer).
  • Include voter registration forms and information about submitting completed forms (48 states offer).
  • Display eligibility requirements for absentee voting (49 states offer).
  • Provide information for military voters about how to register to vote (42 states offer), obtain and use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (30 offer), and check the status of voted ballots (33 offer).
  • Create a section of information for voters with disabilities (36 states offer).
  • Allow access to the polling place lookup tool by street address, instead of personal voter record information (27 states offer).
  • Offer lookup tools for voters to check the status of an absentee ballot (29 states offer) and view a sample ballot (22 offer).
  • Organize the 80-plus links on the home page logically by topic and audience, and provide prominent links to important content for voters such as Voter FAQs.

Noteworthy Feature: An entire section of the secretary of state's website is dedicated to providing information about New Mexico's Native American Election Information Program, which serves voters speaking eight Native American languages in 11 counties.

Initial Quick Fix: Add a basic privacy policy that addresses website security and practices on personal data collection so users feel more comfortable entering sensitive personal information into the lookup tools (42 states offer).

Summary: New Mexico's website scores below average in both content and usability. The website offers three out of five recommended lookup tools.

www.sos.state.nm.us was assessed for content and lookup tools.

www.sos.state.nm.us/sos-elections.html was assessed for usability.