Congressional and Legislative
Congressional and legislative maps are enacted by the State Legislature. The Governor can veto the plans.
The Legislature can override a veto with a two-thirds vote. No party currently has a veto-proof majority in either chamber.
A seven-member advisory commission prepares three sets of maps for both congressional and state legislative districts and delivers them to the legislature by October 30, 2021, and by September 1 of years ending in one in subsequent decades.
One member is appointed by each of the following: the house speaker, the minority leader of the house, the president pro tempore of the senate, and the minority floor leader of the senate. Two members are appointed by the state ethics commission, neither of whom can be members of the two largest political parties in the state. The state ethics commission also selects the chair, who must be a retired judge of the state supreme court or of the state court of appeals. At most, three members of the commission may be of the same political party.
Source: N.M. Const. art. IV, § 3. S.B. 304, 55th Leg., Reg. Sess. (N.M. 2021).
Previous Redistricting Cycles
- State Court’s Plan (D-controlled Legislature failed to pass)
- Adopted = December 29, 2011
- Litigation History
- Egolf v. Duran, D-101-CV-2011-2942 (N.M. Dist. Ct. Dec. 29, 2011): After the Democratic-controlled Legislature failed to pass a congressional plan, the responsibility fell to the state courts. On December 29, 2011, the district court issued an order adopting one of the parties’ amended joint plan submitted to the court for use in the 2012 and future elections.
- Original Plans – HB 39 (House); SB 33 (Senate)
- Passed = September 23, 2011 (D-controlled)
- Vetoed = October 7, 2011 (R-controlled)
- State Court’s Plans – House; Senate
- Adopted = January 3, 2012 (House); January 16, 2012 (Senate)
- House plan struck down on February 12, 2012
- State Court’s Revised House Plan
- Adopted = February 27, 2012
- Litigation History
- Egolf v. Duran, No. D-101-CV-2011-2942 (N.M. Dist. Ct. Jan. 16, 2012): After the Republican Governor vetoed the Democratic-controlled Legislature’s enacted state Senate plan, the responsibility fell to the state courts. On January 16, 2012, the district court issued an order adopting one of the parties’ joint plan submitted to the court for use in the 2012 and future elections.
- Maestas v. Hall, 274 P.3d 66 (N.M. 2012): After the state district court adopted a state House plan, plaintiffs challenged its validity on the grounds that it diluted minority voting rights in violation of the Voting Rights Act, it prioritized small population deviations over traditional redistricting principles, and was selected based on partisan considerations. On February 12, 2012, the state Supreme Court reversed the district court’s order adopting the House plan and remanded the case with specific redistricting instructions as to a revised plan’s requirements. The district court adopted a revised House plan on February 27, 2012, and on April 10, 2012, the state Supreme Court approved the revised House plan as consistent with the remand order’s instructions.
- Egolf v. Duran, No. D-101-CV-2011-2942 (N.M. Dist. Ct. Feb. 27, 2012): After the N.M. Supreme Court invalidated its first adopted House plan and remanded the case with specific redistricting instructions, the district court revised and adopted its final House plan on February 27, 2012, which the state Supreme Court subsequently affirmed.
- Original Plan – SB 33
- Passed = September 19, 2001 (D-controlled)
- Vetoed = October 3, 2001 (R-controlled)
- State Court’s Plan
- Adopted = January 2, 2002
- Litigation History
- Jepsen v. Vigil-Giron, No. D0101-CV-2001-02177 (N.M. Dist. Ct. Jan. 2, 2002): After the Democratic-controlled Legislature’s congressional plan was vetoed by the Republican Governor, the responsibility fell to the state courts. On January 2, 2002, the district court issued an order adopting a congressional redistricting plan.
- Original Plans – HB 7 (House); SB 2 (Senate)
- Passed = September 14, 2001 (D-controlled)
- Vetoed = September 15, 2001 (R-controlled)
- Second Plans – HB 3 (House); SB 34 (Senate)
- Vetoed = October 3, 2001 (R-controlled)
- Third Senate Plan – SB 485
- State Court’s House Plan
- Adopted = January 24, 2002
- Litigation History
- Jepsen v. Vigil-Giron, No. D-0101-CV-2001-02177 (N.M. Dist. Ct. Jan. 24, 2002): After the Democratic-controlled Legislature’s state House plans were vetoed by the Republican Governor multiple times, the responsibility fell to the state courts. On January 24, 2002, the district court issued an order adopting its state House redistricting plan.
Governor Bill Signing
If a bill is presented to the governor during session, the governor has 3 days to sign or veto it; otherwise, it becomes law without signature. If the bill is delivered to the governor during the last 3 days of the session, the governor must sign or veto it within 20 days of session adjournment; otherwise, it is pocket vetoed. Sundays are excluded in these calculations. Line-item vetoes are permitted.
Ballot Measure Process
Kinds of Ballot Measures
Initiatives are not permitted to amend statutes, but referendums are permitted. Initiatives are not permitted to amend the state Constitution. Legislatively initiated ballot measures may amend both statutes and the Constitution.
There is not a single-subject rule.
The signature requirement for referendums is 10% of the qualified electors of each of three-fourths of the counties and 10% of the qualified electors of the state, both to be calculated based on the number of votes cast at the last preceding general election. 701,654 people in the 2018 General Election in New Mexico, so 70,165 signatures are required for a veto referendum. Should the referendum receive signatures equal to 25% (175,413) of the qualified electors of the state calculated based on the number of votes cast at the last preceding general election, the targeted law is suspended. Should the referendum receive signatures equal to 40% (280,662) of the qualified electors of the state calculated based on the number of votes cast at the last preceding general election, the targeted law is annulled and repealed.
Referendums must be submitted no less than four months prior to the next general election. If a referendum petition is signed by at least 25% of the qualified electors of the state based on the number of votes cast in the last general election and is submitted to the Secretary of State within 90 days after the end of the legislative session, the law in question is suspended pending the result of the referendum vote at the next general election.
There are no supermajority requirements, but at a minimum, 40% of those voting in the election must approve the measure. Referendums cannot target general appropriation laws; laws providing for the preservation of public peace, health or safety; for the payment of the public debt or interest; or the creation or funding of the same, except as in this Constitution otherwise provided; for the maintenance of the public schools or state institutions; and local or special laws.
Source: N.M. Const. art. IV, §1.
In The News
- Navajo Nation Sues New Mexico County Over Redistricting Map, AP (2/15/22)
- Republican Party Challenges New Mexico Political Maps, AP (1/21/22)
- New Mexico Governor Approves 3-District Congressional Map, AP (12/17/21)
- Tribes Prevail as Redistricting Plans Advance in New Mexico, AP (12/17/21)
- New Mexico Redistricting Stalls Amid Discord on Tribal Plan, AP (12/14/21)
- New Mexico Legislature Sends Redistricting Plan to Governor, AP (12/12/21)
- House of Representatives Passes Redistricting Bill, Santa Fe New Mexican (12/10/21)
- Citizen Redistricting Committee Presents Recommended Redistricting Maps to House of Representatives, Los Alamos Daily Post (12/8/21)
- Advisory Panel Endorses Redistricting Maps for New Mexico, AP (10/15/21)
- New Mexico Redistricting Committee Launches Website, Santa Fe New Mexican (7/15/21)
- Redistricting Panel Rejects Proposed Rule on Private Talks, AP (7/3/21)
- New Mexico Redistricting Committee Adopts Online Public Input Portal, Santa Fe New Mexican (7/2/21)
- Retired Supreme Court Justice Edward Chávez to Head Redistricting Panel, Albuquerque Journal (6/4/21)
- Ethics Commission Seeks Redistricting Committee Members, Albuquerque Journal (4/24/21)
- Ethics Commission Solicits Redistricting Applicants, Albuquerque Journal (4/13/21)
- Redistricting Bill One of 50 Signed into Law Tuesday by Lujan Grisham, Santa Fe New Mexican (4/6/21)
- New Mexico Approves Independent Redistricting Panel, The Hill (3/22/21)
- State House Approves Bill Creating Independent Redistricting Commission, Santa Fe New Mexican (3/20/21)
- Time Grows Thin for Two Redistricting Bills for New Mexico, Santa Fe New Mexican (3/12/21)
- Redistricting Bill Heads to House, Albuquerque Journal (3/9/21)
- Redistricting Proposal Advances to New Mexico Senate Floor, Santa Fe New Mexican (3/6/21)
- New Mexico Senate Takes Up Redistricting Reform Bills, Santa Fe New Mexican (3/1/21)
- Bipartisan Redistricting Plan Moves Forward in New Mexico, Santa Fe New Mexican (2/8/21)
- New Mexico's Special Legislative Session on Redistricting could be Delayed, Santa Fe New Mexican (1/18/21)
- Redistricting in New Mexico: Task Force, Advocacy Groups Push for Fairness, KOB (11/9/20)
- Democratic-Led Legislature Begins Redistricting Process, AP (11/6/20)
- Top Democrat Says District Will be Redrawn After GOP Win, AP (11/5/20)
- New Mexico's Current 2020 Census Response Rate Below National Average, KRQE (9/24/20)
- New Mexico Governor Wants Longer Census Count if Biden Wins, AP (9/23/20)
- Tribes in NM Under Intense Pressure to Complete Census Count by New Deadline, New Mexico in Depth (9/11/20)
- Historically Undercounted Groups may be Undercounted Again in U.S. Census, NM Political Report (8/25/20)
- New Mexico Redistricting Task Force Seeks Nominations, Las Cruces Sun-News (8/9/20)
- Census Deadline Moved Up, Surprising NM Native Communities, New Mexico in Depth (8/5/20)
- New Mexico Behind National Average in Census Count, The Las Cruces Bulletin (7/16/20)
- NM Lawmakers Should Set New Redistricting Criteria, Albuquerque Journal (7/5/20)