HOW TO BECOME AN INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE
ON THE 2016 GENERAL ELECTION BALLOT
I. Voter Registration
The candidate must be registered as Declined to State [DTS] on the date the Governor issues the primary election proclamation – January 25, 2016. [NMSA 1978 §1-8-12 and §1-8-45[A][a]]
II. Declaration of Candidacy
The candidate must file a Declaration of Candidacy with either the Secretary of State [state-wide races] or county clerk no later than the 23rd day following the primary election and the declaration must be accompanied by the required number of signed petitions. [NMSA 1978 §1-8-52] Note: All potential candidates should confirm whether the Declaration is required to be filed with the Secretary of State or County Clerk by checking the Secretary of State’s website.
III. Nominating Petitions Required for the General Election Ballot
To be listed on a general election ballot as an independent candidate for any public office, the candidate is required to obtain a minimum number signatures on petitions as follows:
i. President of the United States - 3% of the total votes cast statewide for governor in the last general election;
ii. United States Senate and state-wide races - 3% of the total votes cast statewide for governor in the last general election;
iii. United States Representative – 3% of the total votes cast in the district for the governor in the last general election;
iv. All other offices – 3% of the total votes cast for the governor in the last general election in the district, county, or division. [NMSA 1978 §1-8-51]
A.Who can sign an independent candidate’s petition?
Any registered voter can sign an independent candidate’s petition and the only restriction is if there are two independent candidates for the same office, the registered voter can only sign one independent candidate’s petition for that office. [NMSA 1978 §1-8-51[F]]
B. Total votes casts for governor in the New Mexico 2014 General Election
i. State-wide: 512, 805 – 3% equals 15, 385;
ii. Bernalillo County: 169, 942 – 3% equals 5, 098;
iii. Santa Fe County: 48, 360 – 3% equals 1, 451;
iv. Doña Ana County: 41, 339 – 3% equals 1, 240;
v. San Juan County: 29, 958 – 3% equals 899;
vi. Sandoval County: 38, 466 – 3% equals 1, 154;
vii. Valencia County: 18, 623 – 3% equals 559;
Note: To determine the total number of votes cast for governor in the last general election for legislative districts, the candidate can obtain the total votes cast for governor in the last election for each precinct located in the district and apply 3% to find the required number of petitions.
IV. Any Persons Interested in Becoming a Candidate for the 2016 General Election
Check both Secretary of State and county clerk’s websites for updated procedures and requirements. For example: forms for candidate petitions are available on the Secretary of State’s website, http://www.sos.state.nm.us, and the sooner independent candidates begin getting signatures on petitions, the better the chances of meeting the 3% requirement. It is a rule of thumb that prospective candidates should get at least double the 3% required number of signatures to ensure satisfying the minimum number of signatures required. The primary election in 2016 will be on June 7, 2016, which means declarations to become independent candidates, along with the required petitions must be filed with the Secretary of State or county clerk between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on June 30, 2016.
If the candidates file a timely certificate with the minimum number of petitions, their names will appear on the general election ballot as an “independent” candidate.
The Declaration of Independents
I am a decline to state voter, but I won’t decline to state that the health of our
democracy is not good.
I won’t decline to state that government is broken.
I won’t decline to state that good people can come together from both Parties
or no Parties and fix it if they want.
I won’t decline to state that a revolution is brewing and has been for a
decade or so if the political class would look up from their re-election
campaigns long enough to notice.
I won’t decline to state that you could take a dozen ordinary people and they
would agree how to solve 80 percent of our problems in New Mexico.
I am a decline to state voter because I don’t want to be branded, labeled or
forced to vote a certain way as a voter, a candidate or an elected official.
I am a declined to state voter because I believe political power should be in
the hands of the people and not the Parties.
I am a decline to state voter because I believe that hyper-partisanship and
gridlock have directly contributed to New Mexico’s last place showing over
I am a decline to state voter because I believe there is a better way to select,
district and finance our candidates and the Parties are blocking reforms that
would make democracy work and move New Mexico in a positive direction.
Decline to state: Don’t think for a moment it means we can’t commit or
make up our minds. It means we have. And we are going to flex our
political muscles soon enough. Just wait.
IN THE COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO
DAVID G. CRUM,
COURT OF APPEAI.S OF NE\TC fuIE}IiCO
DIANNA J. DURAN, New Mexico Secretary
of State, MAGGIE TOUSOUSE OLIVER'
Bernalillo County Clerko REPUBLICA|I
PARTY OF NEW MEXICO and
DEMOCRATTC PARTY OF NEW MEXrco'
JAN 13 2016
STATE OF NEW MEXICO ex rel'
APPELLANT'S BRIEF IN CHIEF
Appeal from the Second Judicial District Court
Honorable Denise Barela Shepherd' District Judge
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