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Mayor Keller Vetoes Undemocratic Election Measure

Action supports accountability in government, and upholds will of voters.
July 03, 2024

This week, Mayor Keller vetoed City Council resolution R-24-47, a proposed City Charter Amendment ballot question that if passed, will lower the threshold for Mayor and City Council to be elected from the current mandatory majority system—50% plus 1—to a plurality, meaning there would be only one election where the most votes wins. City council and mayor elections are already non-partisan and often have many candidates, and the proposal could lead to winners getting only a small percentage of the vote, only 20% for example. Additionally, from the Olympic trials to standard primary elections, in America there generally is not a ‘one race take all’ format for victory.

“As passed, this would drastically change the way we conduct City elections in Albuquerque,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “While no election system is perfect, this charter amendment takes Albuquerque in the wrong direction, and our community was loud and clear that this is not the right move for our city.”

In his message to the City Council, Mayor Keller highlights that in 2013, voters decided on this issue by changing the then 40% threshold to the current 50%. Before that, our city in fact had plurality elections (many recall Mayor Baca being elected with 28% of vote in 1997) and over two decades has moved definitively to a majority threshold for victory. He also notes that public input on this issue was overwhelmingly opposed to this legislation, including an open letter to all Albuquerque leaders from Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver.

Read Mayor Keller’s full veto message.