New Mexico enacts bill on felon voting rights, automatic voter registration

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) signed HB4 into law on March 30, 2023.

Proponents of the law referred to it as the New Mexico Voting Rights Act. The bill makes automatic voter registration, which was previously only available through the Department of Motor Vehicles, available at other state or local public offices designated by the secretary of state. The state will also join 16 other states that automatically restore voting rights to individuals convicted of a felony immediately after their prison time is completed.

In the past, New Mexico restored voting rights to individuals convicted of a felony after completion of their entire sentence, including prison, probation, and parole. Grisham said, “Today, New Mexico is leading the nation by example, declaring that we believe, unequivocally, in the fundamental right of every American to choose those who represent them.” Republican Party of New Mexico spokesperson Ash Soular said, “Instead of focusing on crime this session, progressives rewarded felons who have not completed their parole by restoring their voting rights. RPNM believes felons should have their voting rights restored once they complete their sentence.”