Voting Convenience Centers
Why It Works
- Proximity to location, travel, and wait times weighed against other essential tasks, i.e. work, errands, appointments
- Reducing opportunity costs occurs when voting can fit into regular activity route
- The U.S. Census Bureau reports the number one reason for not voting is "No time/too busy"
Benefits of Voting Convenience Centers
When using traditional precinct assigned polling locations, each voter must vote at the polling place assigned to the precinct in which the voter is registered. Failing to do this, the voter must vote on a provisional ballot. Using a Voting Convenience Center (VCC), voters do not have the burden of finding their assigned polling place at one of the 15 voting locations serving 41 precincts; instead the voter has the option to vote close to home, school or work. There is no "wrong" location at which to vote.
Provisional ballots are almost unnecessary. Provisional ballots have always been problematic regarding candidates running in districts because a voter that votes provisionally in the wrong district will not have the vote counted for those candidates. By eliminating traditional Election Day precincts, voters will never have any of their votes ruled out because they receive their true ballot containing candidates that represent them.
Election Day VCCs reduce the scale and complexity of administering Election Day to more manageable levels. There is also a reduction in response time to VCCs by Bureau of Elections staff and Voting Machine Tech for trouble shooting.
Choosing a VCC Site
- Each location must be ADA compliant
- Each location must have a technological system that can interface with Valencia County’s System and be secure
- Location must be familiar to voters
- Locations proximity must be accessible to voters within their communities as well as their daily commute
Voting at a VCC
- Early voting begins on the third Saturday before the election at alternate sites. Call our office for locations.
- Early voting ends the Saturday before the election.
- You may also vote early in-person. Go to your county clerk’s office beginning the 28th day before the election and vote. (Section 1-6-5, NMSA 1978).
The vote center model was first implemented in 2003. Early success of the VCC model led other jurisdictions to consider its advantages over the traditional model. There are at least seven states that have piloted a VCC concept. In New Mexico there are currently some counties that have moved to a full VCC model or similar concept. In New Mexico, Senate Bill 337 passed by the 2011 Legislature and was signed by Governor Martinez. It provides County Clerks the option to utilize Voting Convenience Centers during elections.
Your County Clerk and the Bureau of Elections is always available if you have any questions!