Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

People should pick a side to vote

link Rube Render

Local columnist

During the years I have been tracking voter registrations in Curry County, Republican registrations have been increasing slowly, Democrat registrations have been decreasing slowly and Declined To State (DTS) registrations have been increasing at a faster rate.

Across New Mexico from the mid 1980s until today, Republican registrations have remained relatively constant while Democrat registration has dropped significantly and DTS’ have risen rapidly.

Today, approximately 20 percent of all registered voters are DTS.

While some journalists equate DTS registrants as “independents,” I do not believe this is accurate. It has been my experience that most independents view themselves as “undecided” or indeed independent of both major parties.

DTS voters on the other hand tend to be people who are angry at both parties and declaim, “A pox on both your houses.” In many cases this anger has nothing to do with the local or state party, but rather something that politicians in Washington from other states have either done or not done. At any rate, these voters want nothing to do with either party.

Now we have a lawsuit filed in Albuquerque that indicates DTS voters being barred from voting in primary elections violates the Constitution. It would be more accurate to note that DTS voters have chosen not to participate in primary elections.

Every DTS voter I’ve ever discussed elections with has been aware that if he changed his registration, he would not be able to vote in primary elections. This is particularly relevant in Curry County as the June primary presented at least five elections (four Republican and one Democrat) that would determine who would be the winner in the November general election.

However, the lawsuit seeks “a court ruling that unaffiliated voters be permitted to choose between the major party ballots,” while registered Republicans and Democrats would have to cast their votes for their own party.

Not only do they request the vote, they also want the opportunity to review twice as many candidates to choose from as registered Ds or Rs.

It is particularly irritating to me as a voter as well as an officer in a major political party that those who want nothing to do with the political process when it comes to recruiting, financing and supporting candidates demand a voice in determining who it is that each party will choose to stand for election.

If you want to vote in primaries, you’re just gonna have to cowboy up.

Rube Render is the Curry County Republican chairman. Contact him at:

[email protected]