Strange New Mexico Law Gets Liberal Interpretation from Democratic Party, but Restrictive Interpretation from Republican PartyMarch 17th, 2010
New Mexico has a unique election law, 1-1-20. It is “Major Fractions. In any place in the Election Code requiring counting or computing of numbers, any fraction or decimal greater than one-half of a whole number shall be counted as a whole number.” This law seems to have been passed in 1978.
Suddenly, the law has assumed importance. New Mexico laws also say that qualified major parties hold endorsement conventions. Any candidate who has the support of at least 20% of the delegates is granted an easier path to the primary election ballot. All major party members seeking a place on a primary ballot need a petition, but candidates without 20% of the delegates need a tougher petition. The petitions are due near the end of March.
Adam Kokesh, a Republican who supports Ron Paul’s ideas, is running for U.S. House in the 3rd district. He only got 19.6% of the convention vote at the recent Republican endorsements convention, and the party says he didn’t meet the threshold for easier access to the primary ballot. But a Democratic Party member running for Lieutenant Governor, Joe Campos, who also got over 19.5% of his party’s convention vote but under 20%, is being treated by the Democratic Party as someone who got 20%, due to the rounding law. See this story. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.