Translate Our Site

Frequently Asked Questions about the November 2019 Election

A summary of FAQs about the upcoming local election.

Are you thinking of running for office?

The 2019 Election Candidate Guide – along with the required forms that must be completed and filed – is available here.

In the meantime, please review the FAQs below for answers to frequently asked questions, and refer to the 2019 Candidate Calendar. Please note that the information below is subject to change.

When is the November 2019 Election, and what will be on the ballot?

The Regular Local Election will be on November 5, 2019, and the ballot will include candidates for City Council Districts 2, 4, 6 and 8, General Obligation Bond questions, questions regarding proposed public financing reforms, and possibly other questions from APS and CNM. This election will be administered by the Bernalillo County Clerk, although public financing, campaign finance reporting, and the verification of nominating petitions for Council candidates will be administered by the Albuquerque City Clerk.

What are the general eligibility requirements to run for City Council?

New Mexico law outlines certain requirements for candidates to have their name printed on a ballot based upon the candidate’s voter registration information. In order to become a candidate, a person must be registered to vote in, and physically reside in, the district they seek to represent by August 7, 2019 (the date the proclamation calling a local election is filed in the office of the Secretary of State). (NMSA 1978 § 1-22-3(B))

Any changes to voter registration must be effective on August 7, 2019. Attempted changes to ballot name appearance at the time of candidate filing is NOT allowed.

Additionally, in order to appear on the ballot, the candidate must not have any outstanding campaign finance compliance issues or fines with our office.

Finally, a person who has been convicted of a felony shall not be permitted to hold an office of public trust unless the person has presented the governor with a certificate verifying the completion of the sentence and was granted a pardon or a certificate by the governor restoring the person's full rights of citizenship. (NMSA 1978 §31-13-1(E))

How many nominating petition signatures do I need in order to qualify for office?

Persons desiring to become candidates for City Councilor shall, before being placed on the ballot, file with the County Clerk a petition containing signatures of five hundred (500) registered voters residing in the district the person desires to represent. The City Clerk will verify each signature. Candidates are encouraged to turn in petition signatures each Friday during the petition signature period, so that the City Clerk’s office can alert them to the number of valid signatures still required before the end of the petition signature period.

Is there a filing fee?

No.

When and where do I file to be a candidate?

For key filing dates and instructions, please refer to the 2019 Candidate Guide and the 2019 Candidate Calendar. The calendar also specifies where items must be filed.

I want to run for City Council in the November 2019 Election as a publically financed candidate — what do I need to know?

Please view the 2019 Candidate Guide, the 2019 Regulations for the Election Code, the 2019 Regulations for the Open and Ethical Elections Code, and the Guidelines for Publicly Financed Candidates.

For key dates, please refer to the 2019 Candidate Calendar.

I want to run for City Council in the November 2019 Election as a privately financed candidate— what do I need to know?

Please view the 2019 Candidate Guide, the 2019 Regulations for the Election Code, and the Guidelines for Privately Financed Candidates.

For key dates, please refer to the 2019 Candidate Calendar.

I want to advocate for or against an issue or candidate during the November 2019 Election — what do I need to know?

Please view the 2019 Regulations for the Election Code and Information for Measure Finance Committees.

What is the campaign finance disclosure schedule?

Individual amount limits for the 2019 election.

  2019 Regular Local Election Financial Reporting Schedule
Statement 1: Monday, April 8 th, by 5:00pm
 Statement 2: Monday, May 13 th, by 5:00pm
Statement 3: Monday, June 10 th, by 5:00pm
Statement 4: Monday, July 8 th, by 5:00pm
Statement 5: Monday, August 12 th, by 5:00pm
Statement 6: Monday, September 9 th, by 5:00pm
Statement 7: Monday, October 14 th, by 5:00pm
Statement 8: Monday, October 21 th, by 5:00pm
Statement 9: Monday, October 28 th, by 5:00pm

Daily Supplementals

(Reporting items over $500 threshhold)

Friday, November 1 st, within 24 hours
Statement 10: Monday, November 4 th, by 5:00pm
Statement 11: Thursday, December 5 th, by 5:00pm

I heard that there have been changes to election laws — what are they, and when do they go in to effect?

There have been changes to the State election laws, and the City’s Election Code, public financing, and administrative rules.

Local Election Act Changes

In 2018, the State passed a law called the Local Election Act (“LEA”). The LEA was then amended in 2019.This law made two main changes that you should be aware of: First, it changed the date of City Elections from October to November of odd-numbered years. Second, the County Clerk now administers City elections, rather than the City Clerk.  The City Clerk still administers some parts of City elections — public financing, campaign finance reporting, and verifying nominating petitions. The City’s Election Code, Open and Ethical Elections Code, and Code of Ethics still apply to City elections, and questions about compliance, and complaints alleging election-related violations, still go to the City Clerk. The Local Election Act is in effect and will apply to the November 2019 Election.   More information about the Local Election Act can be accessed here.

Albuquerque Election Code Changes

The City also passed reforms to the City’s Election Code. These changes are in effect and will apply to the November 2019 Election. These changes include:

  • Clarified or added definitions for the following terms: Candidate, In-Kind Donations, Expenditures, Contributions, Independent Expenditures, Coordinated Expenditures, and Reporting Individual;
  • To encourage compliance with election laws and discourage frivolous complaints, legal fees for advice on compliance with election rules and laws, and legal defense related to the campaign or election, are not subject to expenditure, contribution, or in-kind limits (but must be reported);
  • Campaign finance reporting schedule is streamlined;
  • Candidates with outstanding campaign finance issues or unpaid fines will not have their names placed on the ballot;
  • Clarified the ban on contributions from city contractors;
  • Clarified campaign finance disclosure schedule for candidates who do not qualify for the ballot or do not file a declaration of candidacy; and
  • Provided authority for the City Clerk to issue rules and regulations for the Election Code.

The Albuquerque Election Code can be accessed here.

Administrative Rule Changes

The City Clerk has adopted administrative rules for both the City Election Code and the Open and Ethical Elections Code (“OEEC”). The rules are in effect and will apply to the November 2019 Election.

Albuquerque Open and Ethical Elections Code (Public Financing) Changes

The City is proposing changes to the OEEC, which governs public financing. These changes will go to the voters in November. If these changes pass, they will go in to effect after the November 2019 Election. Individuals seeking public financing for the November 2019 Election will operate under the OEEC as is currently exists, as well as the administrative rules noted above. The current OEEC, which will apply to all candidates seeking public financing for the November 2019 Election, can be accessed here.

Democracy Dollars Changes

Just like the City’s reposed public financing changes, the Democracy Dollars proposal will go to the voters in November, and if it passes, it will go in to effect after the November 2019 Election. Individuals seeking public financing for the November 2019 Election will not have Democracy Dollars.

Why won’t the OEEC changes and Democracy Dollars apply to the November 2019 Election?

The City’s proposed OEEC changes and Democracy Dollars have to go to the voters. If the changes pass, they will go in to effect after the November 2019 Election has concluded.

Can I collect $5 Qualifying Contributions online?

The Office of the City Clerk is now offering candidates seeking public financing a website that will allow candidates to collect $5 qualifying contributions electronically: the Clean Campaign Portal (“CCP”). The CCP can be accessed at https://www.cabqcleancampaign.org/.  All candidates using the CCP must abide by the City Clerk’s 2019 Guidance for the CCP 2019 Guidance for the CCP and any amendments thereto. Candidates may use other electronic or online methods to collect seed money electronically, including but not limited to Square, or Pay Pal, however the CCP is the only allowable method for a candidate to accept electronic qualifying contributions.

What contribution limits apply to privately financed candidates?

Individual contributions are limited to $1,500 in total contributions (including in-kind contributions) from any one person (with the exception of the candidate himself or herself), for any one election.

What contribution limits apply to publically financed candidates?

Publically financed candidates may accept seed money from March 15, to June 28, 2019, limited to $100 in total seed money contributions from any one person residing within Albuquerque (with the exception of the candidate himself or herself, who may contribute $500 in seed money), for any one election. The total seed money contributions a publically financed candidate accepts cannot exceed 10% of the candidate’s spending limit (i.e., the amount of money distributed to the candidate from the Open and Ethical Election Fund). The aggregate limit for seed money contributions for publically financed candidates in each City Council district for for the regular local election in 2019 are:

District 2              $4,317.40

District 4              $3,911.90

District 6              $3,197.90

District 8              $4,240.40

Publically financed candidates may accept in-kind contributions from March 15, 2019 through election day (and, in the event of a runoff, through the runoff election), limited to $1,500 in total contributions from any one person, for any one election. The total in-kind contributions a publically financed candidate accepts cannot exceed 10% of the candidate’s spending limit (and, in the event of a runoff, the spending limit for the runoff election). The aggregate limit for in-kind contributions for publically financed candidates in each City Council district for  the regular local election in 2019 are:

District 2              $4,317.40

District 4              $3,911.90

District 6              $3,197.90

District 8              $4,240.40

If I am a publically financed candidate, do I get to keep the $5 qualifying contributions I collect?

No. All $5 qualifying contributions are deposited in to the Open and Ethical Election Fund.