Clovis implements voter convenience centers

By Emily Crowe
CNJ staff writer
ecrowe@cnjonline.com

The city of Clovis is stepping into the future of voting for the upcoming March 4 election with a new voter convenience system.

According to city Clerk LeighAnn Melancon, rather than having 12 various voting stations on election day, there will be four voter convenience centers throughout the city at which residents can cast their ballots.

Instead of reporting to a voting station located in a specific district, voters will have the opportunity to choose what location is most convenient to them.

“We have one at the YRB (Youth Resource Building), one at Roy Walker Center and one at Trinity Methodist on 21st Street,” Melancon said.

The fourth station will be located at Colonial Golf Course.

The voter will give his or her name to the poll worker at any location, then a ballot specific to the voter’s precinct will be generated by a computer and printed.

“Then you’ll vote, put it in the machine like before, then at the end of the night the computer will tally up everything based on the actual votes,” Melancon explained.

As long as a resident is registered to vote in the city of Clovis, the poll worker will be able to print a ballot for him or her, Melancon said.

The new system is already being used in cities throughout the state, including Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Hobbs, Alamogordo and Portales.

“We used it last election,” said city of Portales Clerk Joan Martinez-Terry. “That was our first election to use it.”

According to Martinez-Terry, Roosevelt County has been using the system for a while, which helped voters become acquainted with the changes.

“I think they were all very pleased,” she said. “From the voter side, it’s been very simple and very easy to use.”

In addition to convenience for voters, Melancon said the new system will cut down on the number of poll workers needed to conduct an election, and will also make it easier on them.

The system also cuts down on waste since ballots are printed as voters show up, as opposed to printing a specified amount before the election.

“I’m excited,” said Melancon. “I think it’ll be great. It’s also a little scary to be the guinea pig.”

Curry County will also be instituting the voter convenience system for its primary election in June, Melancon said.