Section 1-4-49, NMSA 1978, Third-party registration agents; registration required; procedures; reports; penalty.

A. Registration agents who either register or assist persons to register to vote on behalf of an organization that is not a state or federal agency shall register with the secretary of state, and the organization shall register and provide the secretary of state with:

  • (1) the names of the officers of the organization and the name and permanent address of the organization;
  • (2) the names, permanent addresses, temporary addresses, if any, and dates of birth of each person registering persons to vote in the state on behalf of the organization; and
  • (3) a sworn statement from each registration agent employed by or volunteering for the organization stating that the agent will obey all state laws and rules regarding the registration of voters on a form that gives notice of the criminal penalties for false registration.

B. Organizations employing registration agents or using volunteer registration agents shall deliver or mail a certificate of registration to the secretary of state or county clerk within forty-eight hours of its completion by the person registering to vote or deliver it the next business day if the appropriate office is closed for that forty-eight-hour period.

C. The secretary of state may issue rules to ensure the integrity of the registration process, including rules requiring that organizations account for all state and federal registration forms used by their registration agents.

D. A person who intentionally violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a petty misdemeanor and the person’s third-party registration agent status shall be revoked. If the person who violates a provision of this section is an employee of an organization and has decision-making authority involving the organization’s voter registration activities or is an officer of the organization, that organization shall be subject to civil penalties as described in Subsection E of this section.

E. If the secretary of state reasonably believes that a person committed a violation of the provisions of this section, the secretary of state shall refer the matter to the attorney general or a district attorney for enforcement. The attorney general or district attorney may institute a civil action in district court for a violation of the provisions of this section or to prevent a violation of the provisions of this section. An action for relief may include a permanent or temporary injunction, a restraining order or any other appropriate order, including a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for each violation, not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000).

History: Laws 2005, ch. 270, § 17; 2007, ch. 336, § 7.