When we vote in-person or request an absentee ballot for a state or federal election in New Mexico, we don’t have to show any identification.
How do our voter laws compare to those of other states and nations?
According to Ballotpedia, New Mexico is one of 15 states that does not require voter ID for in-person voting.
Republicans control the state legislature in three of the states, there is split legislative control in another and the remaining 11 states all have Democrat control.
At the other end of the spectrum, 20 states have photo ID requirements for in-person voting.
Two states have Democrat-controlled legislatures, while all the remaining 18 have Republican-controlled legislatures.
The remaining 15 states have non-photo ID document requirements.
For absentee voting, Ballotpedia notes that there are three U.S. models:
(1) automatically mail ballots to every registered voter;
(2) provide absentee ballots upon request if a statutory excuse has been proven by the registered voter and;
(3) provide absentee ballots to any registered voter who requests one.
Eight states automatically mail absentee ballots to all registered voters without being asked. Seven have Democrat-controlled state legislatures and one has Republican control.
There are 16 states that provide absentee ballots if a statutory excuse has been proven. Four have Democrat-controlled state legislatures, and the remaining 12 have Republican control.
The remaining 26 states, including New Mexico, provide absentee ballots to any registered voter who requests one. No U.S. state prohibits providing an absentee ballot to an in-state or in-country resident.
How do our voter ID and absentee ballot laws compare to those in Europe, Canada and Mexico? Be prepared for a shock.
Of the 47 countries in Europe, a staggering 46 require government-issued photo IDs for in-person voting.
Both Canada and Mexico require a government-issued photo ID. Mexico goes a step further by making its ID biometric with both photo and fingerprints.
European, Canadian and Mexican absentee ballot laws are much more restrictive than ours. None automatically send absentee ballots to all registered voters.
Of the 27 nations in the European Union, only five give absentee ballots to any registered voter who requests one.
In 18 of the countries (67 percent), absentee ballots are only provided to citizens living abroad. In the 16 European countries who are not members of the EU, two provide absentee ballots to anyone allowed. Fourteen of the 16 countries (88 percent) only provide absentee ballots to citizens living abroad.
In Canada, any eligible voter can request an absentee ballot, but a government picture ID is necessary to obtain it. In Mexico, absentee ballots are only provided to citizens living abroad and a photo ID must be shown to get it.
New Mexico voter ID and absentee ballot rules are of banana republic quality compared to those employed in Europe, Canada and Mexico. They are an invitation to commit fraud.
If reform is ever to come, it will have to come from our state legislature, where Democrats have held a majority in both houses for 82 of the last 92 years.