New Mexico Open Primaries HB54 Passes First Committee


New Mexico House Bill 54 Passes First Committee on a 5 to 4 vote. Otero County District 51 Representative John Block voted against the bill in order to protect party status quo. The bill would open the primary to 300,000 New Mexico citizens who are presently blocked from voting in the primaries.

A Synopsis of New Mexico House Bill 54…House Bill 54 (HB54) amends the Election Code to allow voters to select a major party ballot and vote in primary elections even if the voter is unaffiliated with a major party without having to change their registration status. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2023.

Although it is unclear from the provisions of the bill how many individuals would now be eligible to vote in a primary election who were not eligible before, Pew Research finds 15 percent of New Mexican adults identify with no particular party, equating to roughly 315 thousand individual who could be impacted by this bill. This aligns relatively closely with the Secretary of State’s voter information data, which shows 300 thousand individuals registered with no party or as decline to state, 14 thousand specified as “other,” and 13.5 thousand registered as libertarian. Therefore, under the provisions of HB54, nearly one third of the state’s registered voters would now be able to vote in an open primary election scenario.

The bill next goes to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration. The committee chairs email is and her name is Representative Christine Chandler.

Committee Members

Name Role
Christine Chandler Chair
Andrea Romero Vice Chair
William "Bill" R. Rehm Ranking Member
Eliseo Lee Alcon Member
Gail Chasey Member
T. Ryan Lane Member
Javier Martínez Member
Matthew McQueen Member
Greg Nibert Member
Andrea Reeb Member
Reena Szczepanski Member
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