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Monday, O c tober 26, 2020 | Vo l u m e 1 2 5 | I s s u e 1 2
UNM students vote for first time during tumultuous election
From left to right, UNM Students Aarya Patel, Jacob Griego, JahJett-Lyn Chavez and Jordynn Sills Castillo.
By Gino Gutierrez @GGutierrez_48 It’s no secret that the 2020 election has been and will be unique compared to others in modern history. Amidst a pandemic and historic economic crisis, the issues facing voters have perhaps never been so varied and complex in living memory. An experience that is already
stressful for many new voters is now even more complicated, so the Daily Lobo sat down with five University of New Mexico first-time student voters to get an account of their experiences. Sophomores Jordynn Sills and JahJett-Lyn Chavez both shared mixed views on the election. “I’m definitely excited to vote for the first time and be a part of something this big, but now that (the election is) actually here, I’m not a big fan of the
Liam DeBonis / Daily Lobo / @LiamDeBonis
candidates,” Sills said. Chavez described her first voting experience as “the messiest, yet most exciting moment in my nearly adult life.” Chavez’s level of excitement was shared by freshman Aarya Patel, who said voting is a big deal. But like others, he found himself let down with the two major party choices in front of him in the presidential race. In contrast, sophomore Jacob Griego said the uncertainty sur-
rounding the outcome at the ballot box outweighed whatever excitement he might have felt toward casting his first vote. “I’m too worried about the election to be excited,” Griego said. “I’m happy that I finally get to put my opinion into the world, make a difference in my own way and have my voice finally be heard, but there’s a lot of paranoia.” As for senior Elizabeth Wilkinson, the decision of whether to vote at all was one she found her-
Analysis: What to watch for on election night By Liam DeBonis @LiamDeBonis With Election Day just over a week away, President Donald Trump’s odds are looking grim. In national polling averages, Joe Biden led by 9.2 percentage points as of the evening of Oct. 25. Traditionally red states like Georgia and Arizona have turned into fierce campaign battlegrounds. Biden signaled his confidence in a tweet on Oct. 19, telling his supporters “let’s finish strong” while
Trump publicly mused about the likelihood of his defeat at a campaign rally just days earlier. But while polling averages may drive the Biden camp to prophesize victory, voters should be aware that Trump still has a shot at winning the 2020 presidential election. Political analysis website FiveThirtyEight estimated the president’s chances of winning on Oct. 23 as “a little worse than the chances of rolling a 1 on a six-sided die and a little better than the chances that it’s raining in downtown Los Angeles.” If
you’re like me, you’ll be compulsively rolling your own dice at home and checking the LA forecast for the next nine days. So what should you expect to see on Election Day? First, the election may not be decided by Nov. 3. Given the increase in mail-in voting due to the coronavirus pandemic, some states likely won’t have a clear winner until days after the election. Many states have already started to pre-process their ballots, which includes removing ballots from their envelopes, checking required signatures and
preparing them to be counted. However, a few states are legally required to wait until the day of the election to start pre-processing early ballots regardless of how many are received — thus raising the very real possibility that we may not know who won those states on Nov. 3. Research conducted by the Pew Research Center suggested that Democrats will vote more by mail than Republican voters in this election. This has led some to predict a “red mirage” in states that don’t
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self grappling with. “I was pretty conflicted on whether or not I really, really wanted to vote,” Wilkinson said. “In my opinion, I really don’t agree with either Trump or Biden’s policies — I didn’t want to vote for someone just because they were (aligned with) a certain party.” Eventually, Wilkinson determined that her perceived duty to remove Trump from office
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Inside this Lobo DAVIS: Nonprofits, election officials face prospect of voter intimidation BOWEN: Elections 101: An interview with elections expert Lonna Atkeson RAMOS: Progressive legislative candidates again push for repeal of anti-abortion law KLEINHANS: Potential Biden win floats possibility of Governor Morales DAILY LOBO: State Bond Endorsements
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outweighed her disdain for the other candidate. When it came to the major issues facing the nation this election season, these first-time voters had a wide range of opinions. Sills focused on the overarching issues in which the country has been embroiled — specifically the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent racial inequality protests that have been taking place across the United States. Griego and Patel also felt that racial inequality is a major issue, and Patel highlighted the need for racial reform, specifically in regard to law enforcement. “There’s so much racism that is allowed to live in this world and who is supposed to (be) the leader of what (is) considered to be the
melting pot of the world,” Griego said in reference to Trump. Griego went on to say that he’s against Trump’s dismissal of the Black Lives Matter movement, citing the president’s unwillingness to support the efforts of Black Americans fighting to receive equal treatment in the United States. “(The president) is calling racists ‘very good people’ and condemning Black Lives Matter, when African Americans are fighting for their right to have their voice heard and be respected as a human being,” Griego said. Chavez spoke about the longstanding conflicts taking place in the Middle East and wondered when and if there is an end to the unrest in sight and if either candi-
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash.
date has a plan to achieve peace. “Where are we when it comes to the ongoing battle that is going on in the Middle East?” Chavez asked. “How is that going right now, and what are we going to do about it?” Wilkinson questioned the major policies presented by both candidates, reflecting on her mixed feelings to vote. While the Biden/Harris ticket falls within her political party, Wilkinson was still at odds with the policies presented by the two Democratic candidates. In particular, Wilkinson questioned Harris’ incarceration record when she served as California’s attorney general. “There’s certain things I agree with (Biden and Harris) on, and certain things we don’t see eye-toeye on,” Wilkinson said.
Ultimately, though, her desire to vote Trump out of office was greater than any reservations she had about either Biden or Harris. When it came to the actual voting process, only one of the five students interviewed (Sills) cast their ballot in person, while the others voted by mail. “Honestly, I have such a busy schedule that voting by mail is really a lot more convenient for me, so I didn’t see it as a loss at all — it was more of an advantage,” Wilkinson said. Griego was disappointed that he wasn’t able to vote in person for his first election, but understood that voting by mail was in the best interest of his and his family’s safety. “COVID has taken a lot away — why wouldn’t it take away the joy
of voting?” Griego said. Patel utilized the Secretary of State’s voter’s guide to help ease the confusion of the legal decision-making process. Overall, he described his voting experience as “a little bit hectic, but super exciting at the same time.” At the time of the interview, Wilkinson had requested her absentee ballot, but had yet to receive it. “It is important to vote, and if you’re able to, I do encourage it,” Wilkinson said.
process mail-in ballots until Election Day. The “red mirage” phenomenon occurs when a state appears red for the majority of election night as Republicans vote en masse that day, then flips to blue after the pile of theoretically Democrat-leaning mail-in ballots are counted. Michael S. Rocca, an associate professor of political science at the University of New Mexico, told the Daily Lobo that while the “red mirage” is somewhat accurate in theory, he doesn’t expect the more drastic effects some analysts, like Hawkfish, are anticipating. Hawkfish, a data analysis company founded by ultra-billionaire and former Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, has modeled a scenario in which Trump initially appeared to win 408 electoral votes before ultimately losing the election after mail-in ballots were counted. “The more likely scenario is that the election will probably be tight or in Biden’s favor going into election night, and then perhaps — based on statistical modeling that we’ve seen and polling — just slightly edging toward Biden as it gets later and later into the night,” Rocca said. Another factor is states’ cutoff dates for accepting mail-in ballots. According to a state-by-state timeline of mail-in ballot processing created by the New York Times, Wisconsin set its deadline to receive mail-in ballots on the same day as the election, while Pennsylvania will count ballots received up
until Nov. 6 so long as they are postmarked on or before Election Day. Other battleground states such as Ohio will count ballots that arrive up until Nov. 13, provided they too are postmarked on or before Nov. 3. States that start processing ballots prior to Election Day also do so at varying times, further muddying the vote counting waters. Key toss-up states like Florida, North Carolina and Georgia allow ballots to be pre-processed as early as September, and Ohio began preprocessing in early October. These four eastern states are what to watch on election night. All are unpredictable this year, and each carries double-digit electoral votes for a combined total of 78. This makes them invaluable in the race to garner the necessary 270 electoral votes nationwide to win the presidential election. That group of states should prove to be a litmus test for the rest of the election, as they’re the first states to close their respective polls because of their Eastern time zone location and early processing of mail-in ballots. If Biden wins Florida and at least two of the remaining three states, he would likely secure the presidency regardless of the results in other swing states. “Come election night, if you see North Carolina and Georgia as too close to call, then we know Biden has a real good chance,” Rocca said. “These are red states — these are states that should be going toward the Republican presidential candidate and probably should be called pretty early in a typical year.”
Texas, another traditionally Republican stronghold, has slipped into the lean-red category. While Trump is still likely to win in the state, an upset isn’t impossible: FiveThirtyEight estimated Biden’s chances of turning the state blue at 38% as of Oct. 25. Defeat in Texas would all but spell doom for Trump’s chances, as the state carries 38 electoral votes, the largest amount of any state except California (55). Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are also states Rocca said will heavily influence the race. Trump won all three states in 2016, but this year they lean more toward Biden. None of the states allow for state-wide preprocessing of mail-in ballots, with Michigan only allowing some populous cities to begin processing the day before the election, meaning these states may not be as easy to call on election night and have the most chance of raising the specter of the “red mirage.” “There is a possibility that we just don’t have an answer for a couple days, or three days,” Rocca told the Daily Lobo, adding that there is also a good chance that close election results will be challenged in court. “We need to be patient … Our institutions are strong, and they’re built to withstand these sorts of things,” Rocca said.
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Nonprofits, election officials face prospect of voter intimidation By Bella Davis @bladvs Albuquerque resident Eleanor Chavez was driving by the 98th and Central early voting site on Saturday, Oct. 17 when she passed a caravan of flag-waving Trump supporters who drove through the parking lot. Hours later, she went back and saw a man with a Trump flag on the back of his truck yelling at voters before the police arrived. â€œWho does that? Iâ€™ve been voting for a hundred million years, and Iâ€™ve never seen anything like that,â€? Chavez said. Chavez said she was planning to vote that day but decided to wait because of the activity she observed, which she called â€œthreatening.â€? According to an Albuquerque Police Department report, officers responded to a call about the same man Chavez observed. The presiding judge on site told an officer that she was afraid he was going to â€œshoot upâ€? voters. Officers issued a criminal trespass notice against the man, who was identified in the police report as Isidro Casarez. The notice was issued, not because Casarez intimidated voters, but because he was â€œacting disorderlyâ€? in the parking lot of a business. He had been parked in front of a T-Mobile store in the same shopping center as the polling site and refused to leave when an employee asked him to. The Bernalillo County district attorneyâ€™s office is investigating the Trump caravan incident, spokesperson Brandale Mills-Cox said. New Mexico election officials and local nonprofit organizations are taking a number of steps â€” like training hundreds of poll watchers and setting up a legal hotline â€” to prepare for the potential of more incidents like that of Oct. 17. Nina Rucker, policy counsel for
the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico (ACLU-NM), said that while voters â€œshould feel confident that they can cast their vote safely and securely this election seasonâ€? because voter intimidation has historically been rare in the state, there are unique conditions this election year that are cause for concern. â€œWidespread disinformation regarding voter fraud, increased armed extremist activity in New Mexico and alarming incitements from President Trump have created heightened tensions this election cycle that we felt that we needed to be prepared for,â€? Rucker said. President Trump has tried time and again to delegitimize the election â€” from falsely claiming that absentee ballot fraud is widespread to saying heâ€™d have to â€œsee what happensâ€? when asked if he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he be voted out of office. During a Sept. 29 debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden, Trump encouraged his supporters â€œto go into the polls and watch very carefully.â€? He later told the Proud Boys, a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group, to â€œstand back and stand by.â€? This year has also seen an increase in right-wing violence targeting Black Lives Matter protesters and state governments in response to coronavirus restrictions. Earlier this month, the FBI announced that it had foiled plans to violently overthrow the Michigan state government and kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, whom the conspirators called a â€œtyrant.â€? New Mexico is at a moderate risk of increased militia activity around the election, according to a report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, a crisis-mapping nonprofit, and MilitiaWatch. The state has long been home to racist â€œborder militiasâ€? â€” 45-yearold James Benvie was recently sentenced to nearly two years in
federal prison for impersonating a Border Patrol agent. Also, at a June 17 protest against an Old Town statue of colonizer Juan de OĂąate, Steven Baca shot and injured protester Scott Williams, immediately after which he was surrounded and protected by the New Mexico Civil Guard, a rightwing militia that was founded by a former neo-Nazi. In response to these threats, ACLU-NM and Common Cause New Mexico have worked together to train hundreds of poll watchers to monitor voting locations and are promoting a hotline staffed with legal professionals where people can report any incidents of voting intimidation, suppression or other irregularities and get live advice from attorneys. Common Cause recommends that voters first call their county clerk to report voter intimidation and then the hotline. Sydney Tellez, associate director of the stateâ€™s Common Cause, said that voters should only call the police if they feel that intimidation might escalate to violence, because the presence of uniformed police officers could also be intimidating â€” particularly for voters of color. â€œWhen we have 10 or 12 police officers showing up at a polling location, that further intimidates people, especially people who live in communities of color that already donâ€™t have a trusting relationship with the police department,â€? Tellez said. Police officers are not permitted to be at polling sites other than to vote, assist in maintaining order and, at the request of election officials, observe voting proceedings. Andrea Serrano, executive director of the grassroots nonprofit OLĂ‰, said that their work has focused on centering voters of color throughout the state and educating people on their rights. â€œWe really want to make sure that people know their rights, particularly people of color,â€? Serrano said.
Nick Romero / Daily Lobo / @nicromerophoto
Veterans For Peace stand outside a polling location in response to voter intimidation at the site near 98th and Central earlier in the week.
â€œPeople of color voting I think are definitely going to be the ones who see an increase in harassment and suppression, and thatâ€™s why we want to make sure that Black and brown and Indigenous voters know their rights.â€? Serrano added that voter intimidation and suppression are not new problems. â€œVoter intimidation has been prevalent in our elections before this year. I donâ€™t even know if I want to call it just voter intimidation,â€? Serrano said. â€œWe can talk about a lot of different tactics that are used, suppression tactics.â€? Serrano said that for years, OLĂ‰ has received reports of voters being asked for identification when it wasnâ€™t required. Election officials are prohibited from discriminating against voters based on race or other protected characteristics, including asking voters of only a certain race to show their ID or to answer questions to vote. District Attorney RaĂşl Torrez said he â€œplans to staff â€˜a war room of senior level prosecutorsâ€™ who will be available on Election Day to help police officers handle specific disruptions,â€? Axios reported. Mills-Cox, the spokesperson for the district attorneyâ€™s office, said
that Torrez made that comment in reference to a dedicated hotline for providing legal guidance to election officials or officers who observe voter intimidation at the polls. All of the experts the Daily Lobo spoke with for this article encouraged voters to know their rights â€” the New Mexico Secretary of State website has a voter information portal that includes guidance on voter intimidation and discriminatory conduct â€” and emphasized that no one has the right to intimidate voters. Examples of voter intimidation include aggressive behavior inside or outside a polling place, blocking the entrance to a polling place, brandishing weapons and photographing voters to intimidate them. Common Cause New Mexico hotline English: 866-OUR-VOTE Spanish: 888-VE-Y-VOTA Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and Tagalog: 888-API-VOTE Arabic: 844-YALLA-US Bella Davis is a senior reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @bladvs
Elections 101: An interview with elections expert Lonna Atkeson By William Bowen @BowenWrites ALBUQUERQUE â€” With the 2020 general election just over a week away, some voters still may have questions about the election process â€” particularly those for whom this will be the first presidential election in which theyâ€™ve been old enough to take part. To help guide voters through this momentous, era-defining election,
the Daily Lobo interviewed Lonna Atkeson, a political science professor and the director of the University of New Mexicoâ€™s Center for the Study of Voting, Elections and Democracy. The first step of participating in an election is, naturally, ensuring you are registered to vote. Many UNM undergraduates will be voting in their first presidential election in 2020. In the context of this most unusual year of the pandemic, registration efforts for first-time voters have had to move to new channels.
â€œI know a lot of students, especially with (the COVID-19 pandemic), who didnâ€™t get opportunities to (register) early in the semester,â€? Atkeson said. â€œThere used to be tables outside, and people would come into classes to register people to vote.â€? Online voter registration in New Mexico has closed, but those who are not registered yet can still do so by taking advantage of same day voter registration as part of early voting at their neighborhood polling place. Same day registration will be
open until Oct. 31. First-time voters are required to provide identification to register, and the list of acceptable documents for registration is available on the Secretary of Stateâ€™s same day registration website. â€œThis is the first opportunity weâ€™ve had in a general election to do same day registration,â€? Atkeson said. â€œThese are new opportunities the state has extended.â€? Voters who want to check their registration status or find a polling location nearby can do so through
the Secretary of Stateâ€™s voter information portal. After registration though, voters may have further questions about the electoral process and their ballot. Some voters have concerns about their vote being counted correctly â€” especially in the case of mail-in ballots â€” according to an August poll conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal. â€œI think that 99% of ballots sent
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PAGE 4 / MONDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2020
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Voting center located on Albuquerque’s West side.
through the mail are going to make it in. You can also check online to see if your ballot has arrived,” Atkeson said. “If you’re concerned that your ballot may not arrive on time, they’ve put some drop boxes up, (or) you can walk it in to any early voting location in your county or any vote center on election day. There are a lot of options …so you should do what makes you feel most confident.” United States citizens typically find out on Election Day who won the presidential election. This time around, however, counting votes could take significantly longer be-
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cause more people are voting by mail, according to CNN. Voters may also wonder about the value of their vote. In presidential elections, the Electoral College has become a lively topic of discussion, particularly after the contentious 2016 election. The Electoral College is a unique structure in U.S. politics that makes it so that some votes “weigh more” than others. For example, voters in swing states like Ohio have more impact on their state’s electoral votes than voters in states that solidly favor one party, like Massachusetts or Oklahoma.
“These things wax and wane,” Atkeson said, regarding the relative weight of New Mexicans’ votes in presidential elections. “New Mexico was a bellwether state until, I would say, about 2004. If you look over time, we really did go back and forth …and I still think that, although it appears all blue, it has underlying conservative trends.” Because the Electoral College lends disproportionate weight to small, rural states, and those states tend to lean Republican, the GOP currently enjoys a structural advantage in the system. As a result, the debate over the College is hyper-partisan. The debate has escalated following the 2000 and 2016 general elections, in which Republican candidates George W. Bush and Trump, respectively, lost the popular vote but became president through the Electoral College. However, the Electoral College only exists at the presidential level. This means that voters wield much more direct authority over the rest of their ballot. Indeed, many argue that local elections have a greater direct impact on voters’ day-to-day lives than their national counterparts. Candidates in state and local races tend to be less well-known than those in national races. Luckily for voters, there are resources available to learn
about the candidates who will appear on their ballots. Atkeson recommended the statewide voter guide from the League of Women Voters of New Mexico, which the organization has made available on the Vote411 website. The voter guide features a questionnaire and answers from nearly every candidate running for office at the federal, state, judicial district and county levels. There are also resources available to help voters sort through the judicial retention portion of their ballot. The New Mexico Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission publishes evaluations of judges every two years, featuring input from attorneys, court staff, resource staff and jurors. Using survey data from these groups, the commission makes recommendations on whether or not to retain judges. Its latest 2020 report was released in September. The voter guides also contain explanations and arguments for and against constitutional amendments and descriptions of bonds, including a link to the specific legislation explaining where bond money would go if approved. Bonds are essentially a debt that states or municipalities agree to pay
over a fixed period of time. All of the bonds appearing on New Mexicans’ ballots this year are general obligation bonds, meaning the state or municipality can use taxes to pay the debt. Typically, property taxes are later used to repay bonds. The bonds on New Mexico’s ballot, like most bonds, would be used to fund infrastructure projects. Constitutional amendments are changes to New Mexico’s constitution which have been passed by the state legislature. In New Mexico, constitutional amendments are required to go to a public vote before they go into effect. This year's proposed constitutional amendments need only a simple majority vote to be approved, according to the New Mexico Legislative Council Service. Election Day is a holiday for UNM students this year, and Atkeson encouraged every student to get out and vote. William Bowen is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BowenWrites
Progressive legislative candidates again push for repeal of anti-abortion law By Sayra Ramos @Sayraramos_ With a half-century-old antiabortion statute still on the books that has the potential to once again restrict women’s reproductive health care access were the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling overturned, New Mexico state legislative candidates weighed in ahead of the Nov. 3 election with their stances on decriminalizing abortion. Pro-choice advocates feel an increasingly more urgent need to decriminalize abortion in New Mexico, especially since the Sept. 18 death of former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who served as a safety net for abortion health care in the United States. According to Rep. Georgene Louis (D-Bernalillo), the 1969 New Mexico state law would require “women to get permission from a panel of strangers in order to get an abortion, and even then the panel can only give her permission if she has been raped or if her health is at risk.” Indeed, the law would ban nearly all abortions except in some very limited circumstances, and the panel of hospital administrators could still choose to reject the patient’s appeal. Louis said that decisions about abortion for women “are very personal, and something that she should have the right to make with her doctor, with her family, taking into consideration her religious beliefs.” Katy Duhigg, a Democratic candidate and former Albuquerque city clerk running for the District
10 Senate seat, reiterated some of these concerns. “With the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the imminent appointment of Amy Coney Barrett, it’s no secret that there’s a chance that Roe v. Wade could be overturned,” Duhigg said. “And if that happens, then decisions about reproductive health care, like abortion, go back to the state.” Due to the aforementioned 1969 law, Duhigg said that abortion could potentially become a felony. “This is a national issue, and a very pressing one given with everything that’s happening on the national level,” she said. “I think that the New Mexico legislature needs to take these steps and get rid of this law. (Abortion) is a decision to be made between a woman and her health care provider, and frankly, politicians shouldn’t have any say in it.” Duhigg is running against Candace Ruth Gould, the Republican incumbent who voted against decriminalizing abortion in 2019. Gould did not respond to the Daily Lobo’s requests for comment. Duhigg’s argument was echoed by two other candidates for state office. The first was Paul Kinzelman, a Democrat running for election in the New Mexico House of Representatives. Kinzelman is running in opposition to Alonzo Baldonado, the Republican incumbent from District 8. Like Gould, Baldonado voted against decriminalizing abortion in the 30-day legislative session last year. In a recent interview, Kinzelman said he would vote to decriminalize. “I don’t think the government
Amanda Britt / Daily Lobo / @AmandaBritt__
Supporters of women’s rights and universal health care chant at a rally organized by the Party of Social Justice and Liberation on Central Avenue and First Street in June 2019.
should be involved in those health care decisions,” Kinzelman said. “It’s a very difficult decision for women anyway — they just don’t need another stress factor. Whenever you try to make laws that implement something for everybody, there’s always special cases, corner cases, things that don’t really fit the laws.” He also argued that as a man, he isn’t competent enough nor has the right to have input on decisions like this. Additionally, Kinzelman brought up comparisons to other fairly routine medical procedures, such as fixing broken legs and amputating limbs. “There aren’t any laws against this,” he said, “so why are there laws against abortion procedures?” Baldonado did not respond to the Daily Lobo’s requests for comment. Democratic candidate Harold Pope Jr., who’s running for the Senate District 23 seat, is running against incumbent Republican Sander Rue, who also voted against the 1969 law’s
Volume 125 Issue 12 The New Mexico Daily Lobo is an independent student newspaper published on Monday and Thursday except school holidays during the fall and spring semesters and weekly during the summer session. Subscription rate is $75 per academic year. E-mail email@example.com for more information on subscriptions. The New Mexico Daily Lobo is published by the Board of UNM Student Publications. The editorial opinions expressed in the New Mexico Daily Lobo are those of the respective writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the students, faculty, staff and regents of the University of New Mexico. Inquiries concerning editorial content should be made to the editor-in-chief. All content appearing in the New Mexico Daily Lobo and the Web site dailylobo.com may not be reproduced without the consent of the editor-in-chief. A single copy of the New Mexico Daily Lobo is free from newsstands. Unauthorized removal of multiple copies is considered theft and may be prosecuted. Letter submission policy: The opinions expressed are those of the authors alone. Letters and guest columns must be concisely written, signed by the author and include address and telephone. No names will be withheld.
repeal last year. Pope reiterated Duhigg and Kinzelman’s claim that abortion is a medical procedure between a woman and her doctor. “I just don’t believe that it’s my place, or really the government’s place, to get involved in the decisions being made by a woman and her doctor,” he said. He acknowledged that abortion rights is a campaign issue for him, but said the repeal of the 1969 antiabortion law was even more critical with Roe v. Wade in the crosshairs in light of Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Incumbent candidate Rue did not respond to the Daily Lobo’s requests for comment. New Mexico is not currently listed as a state with any abortion restrictions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, but bills to decriminalize abortion in the state have failed two years in a row. The first was House Bill 16, ti-
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tled “Abortion Decriminalization,” which was postponed indefinitely in 2018. The bill would have repealed the portions of state statute that criminalizes abortion. The second was House Bill 51, titled “Decriminalize Abortion,” which passed in the House of Representatives with 40 in favor and 29 of opposed. However, it later failed to pass the Senate in a vote of 18 to 24. If Roe v. Wade is overturned at the federal level, New Mexico will join 15 other states that ban abortion before viability except in cases of rape or incest, when continuing the pregnancy will result in death or grave mental health impairment of the mother or severe mental or physical defects in the fetus. Sayra Ramos is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Sayraramos_
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Potential Biden win floats possibility of Governor Morales By Shelby Kleinhans @BirdsNotReal99 If the presidential election swings in favor of Democratic nominee Joe Biden and Donald Trump is forced to vacate the White House, New Mexico’s highest political office may see another transition OF power soon after. In an August interview with Vogue, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham was asked if she’d be interested in the position of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary under a hypothetical Biden administration. “Like in the context of being vetted for vice president, I want them to look to governors, because the HHS secretary is going to have to immediately deal with COVID and a whole different strategy for public health,” she replied, floating the very real possibility that Lujan Grisham could exit the Governor’s Residence for a Biden cabinet position with two years left in her first term. Such a scenario would elevate Lt. Gov. Howie Morales to the head of the state’s executive branch. According to the New Mexico
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Constitution, if “a vacancy occurs in the office of governor, the lieutenant governor shall succeed to that office, and to all the powers, duties and emoluments thereof.” Lujan Grisham is also currently one of five co-chairpersons advising Biden’s transition team “on responding to the ongoing public health crisis and the recession” in light of her work guiding New Mexico through the pandemic, per the Santa Fe New Mexican. This begs the question of what New Mexico would look like under Morales if Lujan Grisham were to take a position in Biden’s cabinet and leave the governor’s seat open. Morales took office on Jan. 1, 2019 alongside Lujan Grisham and has since made it clear that education is his top priority. He even served as the interim secretary of education for the Public Education Department of New Mexico until Lujan Grisham could appoint a permanent secretary. In a phone interview with the Daily Lobo, Morales said that this time period “allowed (him and the governor) the opportunity to drive home the aspect of public service, to lift schools up rather than shut them down,” with a
focus on not “education reform but transformation.” Morales, who holds a doctorate in education, has an extensive history as an educator and is the father of children in K-12 education, explained that his background “assisted (him) in day-to-day issues” and helped him understand the pressure that parents are under during virtual schooling. A more immediate focus of Morales is the handling of the pandemic, as it continues to wreak havoc on the state. Over the past two weeks, there has been a 111% increase in cases, 82% increase in deaths and 85% increase in hospitalizations in the state of New Mexico, according to data provided by the New York Times at the time of writing. When the subject came up, Morales was quick to highlight the strong leadership of Lujan Grisham during the beginning of the pandemic, which showed that “New Mexico was a leader and can continue to be a leader, because we took this seriously.” On how COVID-19 has affected marginalized communities in a state with fewer resources than most, he said, “It goes back to
Vote Bob Walsh for U.S. Senate Libertarians deplore funneling money through Congress for health care, education, and housing, powers not granted by the Constitution. Although the restrictions and costs we endure are annoying, most of our wealthy society can shrug them off. The more horrific example of usurped power is immigration enforcement. Restricting immigration is bad policy. Our Declaration of Independence submitted evidence that the King of England was establishing a tyranny. One example was his refusal to encourage immigration to the colonies. Current immigration enforcement is driven by those who fear cultural diversity, but enjoy jazz, pizza, and Mexican beer. We keep out inventors and innovators who have the gumption to reach our border in search of the rewards offered by the U.S. economy. We keep out young families that just want to work hard, buy nice things, and stimulate our economy. Cities that have received the most immigrants have thrived: New York, Boston, San Francisco. Not just bad policy, it is unconstitutional. (1) Our Constitution gives Congress power to regulate commerce and naturalization, not immigration; it reserves power over immigration to the states. The Supreme Court invented Congressional power over immigration in upholding the egregious Chinese Exclusion Act. (2) No person shall be deprived of liberty without due process. Immigration courts are a sham. Judges are ICE employees who serve at the whim of the President. Appeals are meaningless because the person has been deported.
the fact that COVID-19 has magnified a lot of areas that the state has needed to improve for many years, and infrastructure is always a piece of that,” specifically citing water, roadways and broadband internet as critical aspects of infrastructure improvement. Besides a strong emphasis on education and continuing to address the myriad problems COVID-19 has brought to light, Morales also wants to focus on bridging the divide between the two major political parties. “Having been a legislator, I understand both sides of the aisle, and I understand how we can do what’s best for the state,” Morales told the Daily Lobo. “It’s always about relationships.” To Morales, fostering relationships expands beyond the political sphere. “Being connected to the community is what’s always been at the heart of what I do,” Morales said. “I believe service is about providing support and uplifting what community you're a part of.” When asked what his priorities would be if he were to hold the seat of governor, he led with the fact that New Mexico is
My diverse family loves New Mexico, But in your service to D.C. I’ll go. Where every day my staff and I will duel The tyranny of single-party rule. We’ll sponsor bills that everyone can bless. So on behalf of you, the I.R.S. Prepares a temporary tax return Which you may file, or modify, or burn. And immigration judges we’ll set free, No longer getting paid by I.C.E.
where he was born, raised and educated, and that the state of New Mexico means “everything” to him. Morales also made it clear that his attention would be on jobs, the economy and the education system, which he said are “key for making changes not just for the next year or two but making drastic, much-needed changes for the next generation.” The interview ended with a question about what Morales would like his legacy to be, and he said he wants to be remembered as being approachable and for maintaining mutual respect despite differences in opinion and beliefs. “It’s the way that you’re able to make a difference by having people realize they’re valued and how they bring improvement to our state,” Morales said. “People always remember how you made them feel.” Shelby Kleinhans is a freelance photographer and reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @BirdsNotReal99
It is not only bad policy and unconstitutional, it is immoral. We are created equal. We have rights only because every adult human has them, not because of the happenstance of our birth. Everyone has a right to liberty, which includes a right to travel. If we deny that right to anyone, we deny it to ourselves. ICE is not only bad policy, unconstitutional, and immoral, it is corrupt. Many detainees are held in private prisons, owned by companies that contribute to politicians. Bad immigration policy is good business. Not only is immigration enforcement bad policy, unconstitutional, immoral, and corrupt, it is also inhumane. Detainees are imprisoned for up to four years while cases are pending. Asylum seekers are required to remain in Mexico for years, living in a temporary tent community, Families are separated, children are confined. ICE has lost the parents of 545 such children. Our current immigration policy is our shame. Our Declaration tells us with great beauty When government destroys it is our duty To throw it off, abolish or amend. My Party advocates a healing trend. So rise and heed your Declaration’s tenet. Vote Libertarian. Vote Walsh for Senate.
Paid for by Walsh for Senate, Bob Walsh, Treasurer.
PAGE 6 / MONDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2020
NEW MEXICO DAILY LOBO
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LOBO LIFE Campus Calendar of Events Monday-Sunday, October 26-November 1, 2020 Current Exhibits Sweet Release: Recent Prints from Tamarind’s Workshop Online Exhibitiom An online exhibition of recent Tamarind lithographs highlighting moments and accounts of release—of energy, expectations, control, or constraint. Included in Sweet Release is a special focus on prints by recipients of the Frederick Hammersley Artist Residency. Go to https://tamarind.unm.edu/ to view. The View From Here: Tamarind at Sixty and Beyond Online Exhibition An online exhibition celebrating Tamarind’s 60th anniversary, including lithographs by various artists who have collaborated at Tamarind Institute during the past sixty years. Tamarind is a division of the College of Fine Arts at UNM. Go to https://tamarind.unm.edu/ to view.
MONDAY Lectures & Readings Coping With Grief & Loss - Zoom Workshop for Students 1:30-3:00pm Zoom Meeting Sposnored by UNM SHAC. Go to the dailylobo.com “Events Page” for the sign up link. NIH Grantsmanship 2:00-4:30pm
Zoom Meeting With a focus on best practices in strategy and decision-making, this course introduces learners to the key elements involved in a successful NIH grant application. Register here. Go to the dailylobo. com “Events Page” for the sign up link.
Student Groups & Gov. Ignite with Lobo Catholic! 6:30-8:00pm Newman Center
Meetings Survivors Writing Together 2:30-4:00pm Zoom Meeting A journaling support group for those with a current or past cancer diagnosis. Discover the healing power of writing to express thoughts/feelings. No writing experience needed; spelling and grammar don’t matter. In partnership with Cancer Support Now. Email ACureton@salud.unm. edu to request the invitation.
TUESDAY Campus Events Rapid HIV Testing 10:00am-2:00pm LGBTQ Resource Center Free and anonymous HIV testing through the New Mexico Department of Health. Results are
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Retrieving the Real History: Exploring the Margaret Randall Archives at UNM 2:00-6:30pm Virtual Meeting Organized as part of University Library’s annual Willard Lecture Series, these events will feature Margaret Randall’s conversation with Nicaraguan revolutionary and write Gioconda Belli, as well as readings from Randall’s new memoir, I Never Left Home. This conversation will be accompanied by a panel of scholars discussing Randall’s poetic, scholarly, and photographic archives held at the Center for Southwest Research. Go to the dailylobo.com “Events Page” for the sign up link. Fall 2020 SA+P Conversation Series: Contesting 12:00-1:00pm Zoom Go to the dailylobo.com “Events Page” for the sign up link.
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Sprechtisch 7:30-10:00pm Joe’s, 108 Vassar Dr SE We meet in a friendly atmosphere to practice speaking German.
Lutheran Campus Ministry Group 5:00-7:00pm Luther House, across from Dane Smith Hall
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Meetings Better Together - A Support Group for Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer 1:00-2:00pm UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center A supportive environment to your explore feelings and concerns surrounding a diagnosis of Stage IV breast cancer with a group of peers with the same diagnosis. Open to patients and their family and/or friends. Nurse Navigator present for group. Stroke Support Group 4:00-5:00pm UNM Hospital, Fifth Floor, Neurology SAC Unit Conference Room Connect with other stroke survivors and their families to learn more about stroke, share your experiences and become inspired to move forward.
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Daily Lobo 10/26/2020