With early voting about to begin, Valencia County voters might have noticed a couple of newly installed ballot drop-boxes in Los Lunas and Bosque Farms.

Valencia County Bureau of Elections administrator Candace Teague said the two new, permanent drop boxes are the result of 2018 state legislation.

“The legislation for secured containers went into effect in 2019 but they didn’t give the secretary of state’s office the funds to implement them,” Teague said. “We had secured containers last election but they had to be under the watchful eye of the poll officials.”

The permanently-installed ballot drop boxes are bolted down and secured with concrete, as well as having cameras and fire, water and tampering sensors inside.

Absentee ballot drop boxes have been permanently installed at the Valencia County Administration Building in Los Lunas and at the village of Bosque Farms Public Library. A third one will be installed in the city of Belen when a location has been chosen.

“Right now, they are locked, but once early voting starts next week, they will be available for people to drop their absentee ballots,” Teague said.

Right now, there are two boxes — one at the county administration building, 444 Luna Ave in Los Lunas, and a second at the village of Bosque Farms Public Library, 1455 W. Bosque Loop.

Although there are no municipal races being held in Bosque Farms this year, Teague reminded voters in the municipality there are other races on the ballot they can vote in — Los Lunas Board of Education, Valencia Soil and Water Conservation District and the University of New Mexico-Valencia Campus Advisory Board.

“We want the voters in that area to know they still have a ballot to cast in this election,” she said. “We don’t want to make them feel disenfranchised just because their council isn’t running.”

Teague said the bureau of elections is working with the city of Belen to select a site there for a permanent box.

The county’s ballot transport team will pick up the ballots from the secured containers at least once a day, she said. Eligible voters can request an absentee ballot application through the SOS website, sos.state.nm.us, or by calling the county bureau of elections office at 866-2080.

During this year’s regular local election, same-day registration is available at all early voting sites and at the Valencia County Clerk’s office.

“During the early voting period, if someone has not updated their registration or they need to register, they can do that and vote the same day,” Teague said.

This year, the county will have nine voting convenience centers open on election day. Registered voters can visit any of the VCCs to cast a ballot or drop off a completed absentee ballot if they feel it’s too late to put in the mail.

“We will have the portable ballot drop boxes at some of the convenience centers, but people can still come in and hand their ballot to a poll worker,” she said.

Absentee and early voting information:

Absentee by Mail

Monday through Friday

Oct. 5-29

♦Valencia County Clerk’s Office

444 Luna Ave., Los Lunas

866-2080

 

Early, in-person

8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Oct. 5-29 (Monday through Friday)

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 30

♦Valencia County Clerk’s Office (Bureau of Elections)

444 Luna Ave., Los Lunas

 

Early Voting

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Oct. 16-30 (Monday through Saturday)

♦Belen Community Center

305 Eagle Lane, Belen

♦Village of Los Lunas Village Hall

660 Main St., Los Lunas

♦Town of Peralta Town Hall

90-A Molina Rd., Peralta

♦City of Rio Communities City Hall

360 Rio Communities Blvd., Rio Communities

 

Election Day VCCs

7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 2

♦Belen Community Center

305 Eagle Ln., Belen

♦Belen Consolidated Schools Administration Building

520 N. Main St., Belen

♦City of Rio Communities City Hall

360 Rio Communities Blvd., Rio Communities

♦Don Jose Dolores Cordova Cultural Center

426 Jarales Rd., Jarales

♦El Cerro Community Center

309 El Cerro Mission Blvd., Los Lunas

♦Los Lunas Schools Administration Building

119 Luna St., Los Lunas,

♦Tome Dominguez de Mendoza Community Center

2933 N.M. 47, Tome

♦Town of Peralta Town Hall

90-A Molina Rd., Peralta

♦Village of Los Lunas Village Hall

660 Main St., Los Lunas

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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.