In this file photo, voters cast ballots at a West Side polling location in Albuquerque. (ADOLPHE PIERRE-LOUIS/JOURNAL)



SANTA FE — About 12% of registered voters in New Mexico have already cast their ballots in the Nov. 8 election — either at early-voting locations or by absentee.

More than 165,000 ballots have been cast so far, according to figures released Thursday by the Secretary of State’s Office.

But this year’s turnout is no longer running dramatically ahead of 2018, the last midterm election, when 56% of registered voters cast ballots.

It looks like the initial surge in voting this month may have been the result of voters choosing to cast their ballots earlier in the cycle, not a sign of increased participation overall.

There’s still plenty of time, of course, for another surge.

Through Thursday, however, the number of ballots cast this year is roughly in line with the 163,000 who had cast ballots at this point in the 2018 cycle.

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