Brace yourselves — elections are coming.

Six local government boards will hold elections in November this year in accordance with the Local Election Act, which took effect July 1, 2018.

The act consolidates all non-partisan elections onto a November ballot in odd numbered years. Partisan primary and general elections will continue to be held in even years.

The Valencia County Clerk’s Office will run the new consolidated elections, and candidates for all 2019 races can file between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 27, at the county clerk’s office, 444 Luna Ave., Los Lunas.

“There is no fee to file and we will provide filing packets to candidates that day and the day before. The forms can also be found on the secretary of state’s website,” said Valencia County clerk Peggy Carabajal.

Chief Deputy Clerk Aurora Chavez said it is her hope the consolidation of the non-partisan races will increase voter turnout.

Under the new state election code, municipalities were given the option to either consolidate into odd years or keep their elections in even numbered years.

All but one local municipality chose to consolidate, but even those still had the choice of whether to begin November elections this year or wait until 2021.

Two municipalities — the city of Belen and city of Rio Communities — will have positions on the upcoming fall ballot, while the village of Los Lunas and town of Peralta will wait until 2021.

The village of Bosque Farms council voted to remain on the traditional election cycle and its next election will be March 2020.

In Belen, the two council seats on the ballot are currently held by Councilors David Carter and Wayne Gallegos.

The seats held by Rio Communities councilors Peggy Gutjahr and Arturo Sais will be up for re-election this fall.

There will be three seats on the ballot for the Belen Board of Education — District 3, held by Larry Lindberg; District 1, held by Max Cordova; and District 2, held by Yvonne McCloud.

All five Los Lunas Board of Education seats are up for re-election this year.

Frank Otero, Bryan Smith and Sonya C’Moya were all elected to their positions in 2015. The other two seats — held by Brandon Campanella and Milo Moody — will be on the ballot due to mid-term appointments.

The seat held by Campanella — District 5 — is a two-year term, while the other four districts are four-year terms.

The three seats on the UNM-Valencia campus Advisory Board that will be up for re-election are currently held by Paul Luna and Russell Griego, who represent the Los Lunas Schools district; and Belinda Martinez, who represents the Belen School district.

The Valencia Soil and Water Conservancy District board seats on the November 2019 ballot will be Positions 1, 2 and 5, currently held by Abel Camarena, Andrew Hautzinger and Jeff Goebel, respectively.

After candidates file on Tuesday, they will draw for ballot position within their respective races, Carabajal said.

Another new part of the election code allows “same day” voter registration during absentee voting, the clerk said.

From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, starting Tuesday, Oct. 8, through Friday, Nov. 1, only at the clerk’s office, county residents can register to vote and cast a ballot on the same day.

Prior to the new act, voter registration stopped before absentee voting began.

“This year, we are doing it only at our office,” Carabajal said. “Next year, we will expand it to the early-voting sites during the primary and general elections.”

Absentee ballots can be cast in person at the clerk’s office, 444 Luna Ave., Los Lunas, or by mail.

Early voting is from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, starting Saturday, Oct. 19, through Saturday, Nov. 2.

Early voting sites are:

•Belen Community Center, 305 Eagle Lane, Belen

•Valencia County Administration Offices, 444 Luna Ave., Los Lunas

•Rio Communities City Hall, 360 Rio Communities Blvd., Rio Communities

On Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 5, voting convenience centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at:

•Los Lunas Schools Administration, 119 Luna Ave., Los Lunas

•Belen Consolidated Schools Administration, 520 N. Main St., Belen

•Belen City Hall, 100 S. Main St., Belen

•Rio Communities City Hall, 360 Rio Communities Blvd., Rio Communities

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Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.