City Elections Update
Your Vote, Your Voice
On November 7, 2023, Gallup voters will decide if the Mayor and City Council should have the authority to move Gallup’s Municipal Election date to the Regular Local Election date in November in odd-numbered years. If voters approve the measure, the City Council will decide whether the election of Council members and the Municipal Judge should remain in March of even-numbered years or move to November in odd-numbered years.
Gallup is a “home rule” city, meaning it has a founding Charter and does not depend on the State of New Mexico for its existence and authority. The Charter is similar to the U.S. Constitution, and it sets the basic rules by which the City is governed. One such set of rules are those governing the City’s elections. Currently, the Charter requires that City elections -- elections for the offices of City Council, Mayor, and Municipal Judge -- be held on the second Tuesday in March. In 2018, New Mexico adopted a statute known as the Local Election Act, allowing cities to “opt-in” to the regular general election held in November of odd-numbered years. In order for Gallup to “opt-in” to the regular November election, it is necessary to amend the Charter’s requirement of a March election. The ballot measure does that by giving the City Council the authority to move the City’s election to the November date.
One Election Date
The City is asking voters to make this decision for a number of reasons, including:
- Having municipal elections on the same day and ballot as other general local elections will increase voter turnout and participation by making voting more convenient and simpler.
- A substantial cost savings (approximately $40,000.00 every two years) will be realized if all local elections are held on a single day. Elections require security and significant additional staffing and technology resources, including publication costs. Holding all elections on the same day reduces the needed resources and associated costs.
The ballot for the November 2023 elections will include a Yes or No question for the “Authority to Opt-In.” If voters reject the ballot question, City elections will continue to be held in March of even-numbered years. If voters approve the question, the City Council will have the authority to choose whether to align the City’s elections with all general local elections or retain the March date. If the Council chooses to move elections to the regular November date, terms of office for current members of the Council will be lengthened.
Learn More & Vote
To learn more about the state’s changes to the Local Election Act, visit the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office at www.sos.nm.gov. You can also register to vote or update your voter registration on the site. If you prefer to register in person, visit the McKinley County Clerk’s Office at 207 W. Hill Ave.
Please email any questions to Matt Robinson at MRobinson@Gallupnm.gov.