Formerly incarcerated people's voting rights

Thanks to a new law passed in 2023, 17,000 New Mexicans have had their right to vote restored! People who are no longer incarcerated for felony convictions can now register to vote.

If you know someone who is incarcerated and is getting out soon, let them know that they can register to vote at their facility before their release. People who are on probation and parole (also known as "on paper") are also eligible to register to vote if they haven't already.


How does the new law work? 

Anyone who is in the re-entry phase of their sentence will be given an opportunity to register to vote by someone in their correctional facility. 

Anyone already on parole/probation can go to their county clerk’s office to register to vote. 

How can people “on paper” register to vote? 

They can only register to vote at their county clerk's office (find my county clerk) or at state facilities like the MVD, a polling place, or a state agency that provides public assistance to people with disabilities.  

After the first registration, they can update their info online if needed. 

Can they register to vote if they are not "on paper" yet? 

Unfortunately, they cannot register to vote until they are in their re-entry phase and out of a facility. 

What if the person was registered to vote BEFORE they went to prison? 

Their registration was canceled and they will need to re-register upon their release. 

If you are denied by a county clerk or voter registrar for reasons regarding a past felony conviction, you can refer them to Section 1-4-27.1 of MSA 1978. If they still refuse to allow you to register, please get in touch with the secretary of state’s office by calling 505-827-3600 or emailing 

Rights under the Native American Voting Rights Act  

Local governments have tried to cut Native voters out of the democratic process for decades: denying funding for polling locations, lack of language access, placing polling locations hundreds of miles away from tribal communities, not recognizing rural addresses, failing to consult with tribes before changing elections and more. 

In 2023, the New Mexico State Legislature passed House Bill 4 (HB 4), the New Mexico Voting Rights Act, which includes the Native American Voting Rights Act (NAVRA).   

  • The law mandates consultation and cooperation with the Tribes so that the people who know their community most make the decisions about what is needed.  
  • Tribes themselves can now designate where polling places should be and make other decisions that help their very different communities’ voting needs. 
  • Due to issues in identifying home addresses in rural communities, the law allows tribes to establish an “Alternate Registration Location” address on tribal land for tribal members to register under.
  • Native language translation must be available at reservation polling sites 

For more information about Native voting rights, check out NM Native Vote.  

General: Voting in New Mexico

Your voting rights: 

  • If the polls close while you’re still in line, stay in line – you have the right to vote. 
  • If you make a mistake on your ballot, ask for a new one. 
  • Ask for a paper ballot if the machines are down at your polling place. 
  • If you run into any problems or have questions on Election Day, call the Election Protection Hotline: 
    • English: 1-866-OUR-VOTE / 1-866-687-8683 
    • Spanish: 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA / 1-888-839-8682 
    • Arabic: 1-844-YALLA-US / 1-844-925-5287 
    • For Bengali, Cantonese, Hindi, Urdu, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog, or Vietnamese: 1-888-274-8683