NM: Early Voting a Popular Choice
By Ann Scott Tyson
Voting in the battleground state of New Mexico was going smoothly, with steady to light turnout, after large portions of the state's urban population voted early or cast absentee ballots, political analysts and party officials said. "We haven't had any complaints," said Conchita Cruz, spokeswoman for the Democratic Party of New Mexico.
Overall, the number of early voters rose from 236,000 in 2004 to 344,000 this year. Registration also grew by nearly 90,000 compared with 2004. Turnout is expected to reach from 70 to 75 percent.
In Santa Fe, Los Alamos, and Bernalillo County, where Albuquerque is located, about half of all registered voters cast their ballots before election day, according to Brian Sanderoff, president of Research and Polling Inc.
Democrats comprised a higher percentage of early and absentee voters in New Mexico this year, compared to past elections, when such voting has been dominated by Republicans, according to Sanderoff. So if the results from those votes -- about 43 percent of turnout statewide -- are released as soon as the polls close tonight at 7 pm, it could place the Democrats ahead initially. But those gains could shrink as votes are counted from today's balloting, Sanderoff said.
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