New Mexico Resources for Voters with Disabilities

What are my rights as a voter with a disability in New Mexico?

In New Mexico, you have the right to the following as protected by federal law. Election staff must respect these rights:

  • Accessible voter registration
  • Accessible polling places
  • Policies and procedures that do not discriminate against you based on your disability
  • Accessible, available, and operational voting systems, features
  • Your service animal to accompany you inside the polling place
  • The right to vote privately and independently or with assistance, if needed
  • Assistance from a person of choice, who can be a friend, family member, or poll worker (but not your boss, union agent, or a candidate unless this person is your family member)
  • Election Staff trained to understand the rights above.
Who can register to vote?

To register in New Mexico, you must be: 

  • A citizen of the United States of America
  • At least 17 and will be turning 18 on or before Election Day 
  • A resident of the city or county for at least 30 days
  • If you are a student, unhoused, a survivor of intimate partner violence with related concerns, or living with a mental or physical impairment, you may still register and vote
  • Not currently incarcerated for a felony conviction. In New Mexico, you can't vote while incarcerated, while on probation, or while on parole. Your right to vote is automatically restored once you complete your full sentence. 

In New Mexico, you may not register or vote if:

  • Have been declared mentally incompetent, unless your right has been restored 
  • Are currently incarcerated, on parole, or on probation for a felony conviction  
  • You claim the right to vote elsewhere
What are my rights when registering to vote?

Federal law requires assistance in registering to vote from offices that provide public assistance or state-funded programs serving people with disabilities. Responsibilities include:

  • Providing voter registration forms
  • Assisting voters in completing the forms
  • Transmitting completed forms to the appropriate election official
  • All aspects of voter registration must be accessible
What are the different ways to vote in New Mexico?
  • In person on Election Day
  • Absentee 
  • Early Voting up to 4 weeks before the election
  • While abroad as a citizen or military through an absentee ballot request
  • Provisional ballot at a polling place
What are the ways to request an Absentee Ballot in New Mexico?
How is the New Mexico mail-in or absentee ballot process made accessible for voters with print disabilities?
  • On your absentee ballot application, if you have a print disability you can request to use an accessible ballot.
    • You will be emailed an electronic ballot and then you will have two envelopes mailed to you which will be used to return your ballot.
    • You can use screen readers and adaptive technology with this type of ballot.
    • You can not receive this type of ballot earlier than 28 days before the election.
What accommodations are available for voters with disabilities at polling locations in New Mexico?

Federal law requires polling places to meet minimum compliance standards for individuals with special needs. 

If you are unable to stand in line, you can:

  • Request to be moved to the front of the line or refuse to be moved to the front of the line
  • Request that a chair be provided or refuse to accept a chair
  • Request to have your place in line held and notified when it is your turn

You have the option of requesting to use accessible voting equipment at any polling location.  The machine should be equipped with options to change screen color scheme, contrast, and font size, to use headphones to allow the system to provide an audio version of the ballot using the tactile interface, and to have low force buttons for you to use.

What are the rules of assistance for disabled voters in New Mexico?
  • You may request assistance from a poll worker or receive assistance from a person of your choice with the following exceptions:  
    • your employer, an agent of your employer
    • an officer or agent of your union
    • a candidate on the ballot
       
  • A poll worker cannot force you to accept assistance.
How can I prepare to use accessible voting equipment in New Mexico prior to Election Day?
Who do I contact if I have problems when voting in New mexico?
  • You can file a formal complaint about voting accessibility by mailing one to New Mexico Capitol Annex North, 325 Don Gaspar, Suite 300 Santa Fe, NM 87501 or emailing it to Sos.ethics@state.nm.us.
    • You must sign and date the complaint.
    • You must include your name, address, phone number and/or  an email address.
    • You must include who you are complaining about, their address and their phone number and/or email address.
    • You must also include any information relevant to your complaint and any evidence you might have about what happened.
       
  • You can contact Disability Rights New Mexico by mail at:
    3916 Juan Tabo Blvd., NE
    Albuquerque, NM 87111
     
  • By phone at (505) 256-3100 or by fax at (505) 256-3184.

You can also fill out a Violation of Civil Rights Complaint Form and submit it to the US Department of Justice by one of the following methods:

  • Online, through the form’s submission process - this is the fastest method.
     
  • By fax at (202) 616-9881. You MUST include “ATTN: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Complaints" at the top of your fax submission for it to be processed correctly.
     
  • By mailing your form to: 
    U.S. Department of Justice
    Office of the Inspector General
    Investigations Division
    ATTN: Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Complaints
    950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
    Washington, DC 20530

For assistance with advocacy, protection of your voting rights, and other services, you may contact the office of.

For additional assistance, The National Network of ADA Centers can provide local contact information for other organizations you may wish to contact, including your Regional ADA Center or ADA Knowledge Translation Center, or Federal Agencies and Resources.

Additional Resources