Matter of Fact

What is misinformation and disinformation? What is the difference?

  • Misinformation is when someone shares or gives information they think is factual and don’t realize it is false or misleading.
  • Disinformation is when someone purposefully gives false or misleading information.

 

It can be hard to sort through everything we hear and see about elections. To help combat some of the confusion, this page is dedicated to helping sort through what is fact and what is rumor.

  • RUMOR

    Election administrators know who you voted for, keep that information in a statewide database, and are allowed to tell other people who you voted for.

  • FACT

    As a voter, unless you tell someone, only you know which candidates you voted for in an election. Voting locations must include the ability of voters to vote privately. When you sign-in at the polling location to receive the ballot, the county clerk receives a record that you participated in the election. Basically, we know that you voted but not who you voted for. You can actually see a record of when you voted (but not how) online at NMVote.org. Even if someone at the polling location were to inadvertently see how you voted, per state statute, “an election official, a member of the precinct board [election board], a watcher or a challenger shall not disclose the name of any candidate for whom any voter has voted” NM Stat §1-12-18. And remember, when you insert the ballot into the voting machine at a location, it does not contain any identifying information. The entire voting process protects the secrecy of your ballot by design, and we are required to maintain that secrecy even after the election has concluded. State law says, “Any inspection of paper ballots marked by voters, their digitized equivalents or records related to voting shall be conducted in such a manner as to secure the secrecy of the ballot” NM Stat §1-12-69 (G).

  • RUMOR

    The voting machines are not certified.

  • FACT

    New Mexico statute requires that several steps are taken to ensure voting machines are transparently and properly certified. One of the first steps taken is for the county clerk to send notice to the county chair of each political party having a candidate on the ballot in the election to notify them of the times and places where the voting machines will be prepared. This statute allows for party and organization representatives, as well as election observers and candidates to be present at the preparation, inspection and sealing of the voting machines to ensure compliance with the Election Code (1-2-8, NMSA 1978). Statute also states that 42 days before the election, the county clerk may begin to prepare, inspect, certify and seal electronic voting machines that are used in the election and must continue until all machines are completed. The county clerk is then required to certify to the secretary of state and the county chair of each political party participating in the election the type of serial number of each voting machine intended to be used in each polling location, by precinct number, where applicable (1-11-5, 1-11-6 (A), 1-11-7, NMSA 1978). There are additional statutes concerning electronic voting machines for absentee voting that require similar steps described above that also must be taken, including having the county clerk certify to the secretary of state and the county chair of each political party represented on the ballot the type of serial number of each voting machine to be used (1-6-9.2 (A), NMSA 1978 and 1.10.12.12 NMAC, 1-6-9.2 (B), NMSA 1978 and 1.10.12.12. (A)(2) NMAC). A post audit is also done by an auditor qualified by the state auditor. The auditor publicly selects a random sample of precincts from a pool of all precincts in the state no later than 12 days after the election. The auditor is required to release the results to the public. (1-14-13.2).

  • RUMOR

    Election results can be changed

  • FACT

    We have a variety of safeguards in New Mexico that ensure the accuracy of election results. Most notably, we conduct mandatory post-election audits after every election (these double-check that all the counts were correct) and use 100% paper ballots in every election (this ensures there’s always physical ballots that can be recounted/examined if need be). We also conduct pre-election certification of all voting systems/machines.

  • RUMOR

    Non-citizens can vote

  • FACT

    No. You must be registered in order to vote. Every person who registers to vote in New Mexico must attest that they are a citizen of the U.S. and a resident of New Mexico and must provide voter identification. For information about voter registration requirements, check out: https://www.sos.nm.gov/voting-and-elections/voting-faqs/voter-registration/

To have the best experience of this website avoid use of Internet Explorer.