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Recall Legislation Clears First Committee

Kevin Meerschaert

A bill that would allow New Mexico voters to recall state elected officials has narrowly been approved in a House Committee.


The bill passed the House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs committee on a 4-3 vote.

Under the bill, a recall election could be called against a state-level elected official if 25-percent of voters from the last election of  the specific office signed a recall petition. There would be a 90-day window for Representatives and Senators and 80-days for a Statewide office.

But the bill will likely need some major changes to be approved.  Democratic Representative Daymon Ely voted for the bill in committee but has some serious problems with it.

Currently, the bill says the recall can be launched for any reason. He says, while he agrees with the principle of allowing voters to recall elected officials, those reasons need to go beyond just not being happy with their votes or philosophy.


“If people have honest, principled disagreements with an elected official, should that be the subject of a recall?” he asked. “If people say ‘I don’t want to wear a mask and the Governor’s making me wear a mask’ for health reasons, which by the way I agree with, but they don’t. Should that be the subject of a recall?”       


The bill’s authors say they believe the voters should get to decide what determines a recallable offense.

The bill now moves to the Judiciary Committee, where changes are expected to be made if it has any chance to pass.