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Frequently Asked Questions about the November 2019 Election

A summary of FAQs about the upcoming municipal election.

Are you thinking of running for office?

The 2019 Election Candidate Guide – along with the required forms that must be completed and filed – will be published and available on our website in March, and will be provided to candidates and their representatives at candidate trainings provided by the City Clerk.

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, and possibly other questions approved by the City Council. This election will be administered by the Bernalillo County Clerk, although public financing, campaign finance reporting, and the verification of nominating petitions 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, the person's record of voter registration must show that the person is a qualified elector of the state, physically resides in the district in which the person is a candidate and was registered to vote in the district on the date the proclamation calling a local election is filed in the office of the Secretary of State.

By law, the Secretary of State’s Election Proclamation is issued ninety (90) days before the election. In 2019, the Secretary of State will issue the Election Proclamation for the November 2019 City Council race on August 7, 2019.  Any changes to voter registration must be effective on the date of the Election Proclamation. 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 which the person desires to represent. The City Clerk will verify each signature. Candidates are encouraged to turn in petition signatures regularly, 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, please refer to the 2019 Candidate Calendar.  The calendar also specifies where items must be filed.

I want to use public financing to run for City Council in the November 2019 Election — what do I need to know?

Please go to: http://www.cabq.gov/vote/candidate-information/publicly-financed-candidates/publicly-financed-candidates-2019-guidelines

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

I want to run for City Council in the November 2019 Election, but I don’t want to use public financing — what else do I need to know?

Please go to: http://www.cabq.gov/vote/candidate-information/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 go to: http://www.cabq.gov/vote/information-for-measure-finance-committees

What is the campaign finance disclosure schedule?

The City Clerk is in the process of establishing a simplified campaign finance reporting schedule, and will issue guidance on the schedule by or before March 15, 2019.

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: The State passed a law called the Local Election Act. 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 are:

  • 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. PLEASE NOTE: The City may make additional changes to the campaign finance schedule – please check back regularly for changes or contact the City Clerk to confirm the schedule;
  • 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 is drafting proposed changes to administrative rules for both the City Election Code and the Open and Ethical Elections Code (“OEEC”). Once the proposed rules are finalized, they will be made publically available and the City will have a public hearing.  All members of the public are welcome to attend this hearing and give public comment on the proposed administrative rules. Once final versions of the rules are signed by the City’s Chief Administrative Officer, the rules will be in effect and will apply to the November 2019 Election. Please check back regularly for updates regarding these rules.

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.  However, these changes will not go in to effect until 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 discussed 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, and if it passes, it will not go in to effect until 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. By the time these proposals are voted on, the public financing cycle for the November 2019 Election will have already begun. If the changes pass, they will go in to effect at a later date, after the November 2019 Election has concluded.