Hats off to Sandoval County Clerk Eileen Garbagni, who is putting out clear information on the upcoming election and offering a number of safe options to vote in a dangerous time of pandemic.

Ms. Garbagni will be sending applications for absentee ballots to all registered voters in the county next month, something that many of her fellow county clerks are not doing. By Sept. 1, registered voters can also apply online through the secretary of state’s website at portal.sos.state.nm.us/OVR/WebPages/AbsenteeApplication.aspx.

Absentee voting is a safe way to let your voice be heard, but recently fears of late mail delivery resulting from political interference from the administration are giving some voters pause. But the New Mexico secretary of state has indicated that she has been assured by the U.S. Postal Service in New Mexico that they are on it — in spite of the noise we hear coming from Washington, D.C.

Citizens must do their part by mailing their absentee ballots in early. Absentee ballots will be mailed out starting Oct. 6 to those who have completed their applications.

Return it in the envelope, which must be signed on the outside as well as inside, immediately. If you worry it will not make it by the deadline (7 p.m. on Nov. 3), you can hand deliver it to any early voting site or to your polling place on Election Day.

Early voting — socially distant, with mask — is still a good option. It begins Oct. 17 and runs through Oct. 31, Monday through Saturday, at over a dozen polling places serving communities from Torreon to Rio Rancho.

To vote even earlier, you can go to the Sandoval County Administration Building D, 1500 Idalia Road, Bernalillo, Oct. 6 through Friday, Oct. 30. Contact the county clerk’s office for specific locations and hours.

Citizens should never have to choose between their health and their right to vote.  Thank you to the Sandoval County Clerk’s office for helping us out of this dilemma.

Dick Mason

Board member, League of Women

Voters of New Mexico

Rio Rancho