Just over half of NM voters turned out in election

-A A +A
By Barry Massey

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Slightly more than half of eligible New Mexico voters turned out and participated in this month's general election, according to official results announced Tuesday.

A total of 607,700 New Mexicans cast ballots in the Nov. 2 election, representing 52.7 percent of those registered to vote.

That's slightly better than 2006, the last gubernatorial election year, when the turnout rate was 52.2 percent, and about 568,600 voters participated. Turnout was 53 percent in the 2002 election.

The State Canvassing Board certified the most recent election returns during a meeting in the Capitol.

Republican Gov.-elect Susana Martinez won the governor's race by a margin of 40,605 votes. Martinez received 53 percent of the vote against Democrat Diane Denish.

Martinez was not the top vote recipient in a contested statewide race. That distinction went to Republican Dianna Duran, who won the secretary of state's race with 341,915 votes. She defeated Democratic incumbent Mary Herrera by more than 88,000 votes to become the first Republican secretary of state in 80 years.

Martinez won the governorship with 321,219 votes.

Voters narrowly rejected one of four statewide bond issues. A $155 million property tax-backed bond proposal for higher education projects failed by 855 votes.

About 49 percent of the votes in the general election occurred before Election Day through mail-in absentee ballots or in-person early voting. That's up from about 40 percent four years ago.

Early in-person voting proved particularly popular this year. It accounted for 35 percent of balloting compared with 23 percent four years ago. Absentee voting declined in this election.