New Mexicans — those who have not voted already — go to the polls today. From 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., citizens in towns across the Land of Enchantment will be helping set the direction of the country, as well as selecting a new U.S. Senator and deciding the fate of Constitutional amendments and bonds.
It’s a long ballot, with county, state and federal offices — and because straight-party ticket voting is no longer allowed, voting will take time. And that’s as it should be. Witness people in lines for more than four hours in Florida, or lawsuits to extend early voting hours in Ohio. Some in New Jersey and New York will have to stop sorting through flood debris to get to the polls, and those polls might be in the parking lot of a damaged school.
Still, across the United States, people will move heck and high water to cast their ballots. New Mexicans should be no different. Our state election season, for the most part, has been calm. Beneath that almost serene fight for the U.S. Senate between Democrat Martin Heinrich and Republican Heather Wilson, though, has been trench warfare for various legislative seats. Gov. Susana Martinez, almost invisible in the state, whether in campaigning for Republican presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney or Wilson, has instead been working hard to elect a more Republican state House and Senate. Her money, time and brand have been directed at ousting Democratic Senate leaders Michael Sanchez and Tim Jennings; we shall see whether she emerges stronger on Wednesday, or whether her targeted foes will be her negotiating partners in passing legislation come January.
Make no mistake about it, while too many focus on the horse race and the politicking, politics should and always be only a prelude to the real business at hand. It is governing, not politics, that matters, and let us — Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green — be united in wishing that our officials, from president on down, get down to the business of governing and leave politics aside.
Once again, our recommendations in the 2012 election. See all of our election coverage (including finding your polling place) at www.sfnewmexican.com/election/. As always, the opinions that matter belong to voters.
* For president: Barack Obama
* U.S. Senate: Martin Heinrich
* U.S. Congress: District 3, Ben Ray Luján
* State Supreme Court: Barbara Vigil, retain Justice Richard Bosson
* Court of Appeals: J. Miles Hanissee, retain Judges Michael Vigil and Roderick T. Kennedy
Senate District 39: Aubrey Dunn
District 43: Stephanie Richard Garcia
District 48: Lucky Varela
District 50: Stephen Easley
Yes, on Bonds A, B, C
Santa Fe County bonds
Yes, on all three
Fire protection excise tax (unincorporated county only)
Yes, to increase taxes 25 cents on a $100 purchase
No, Constitutional Amendment 1
Yes, Constitutional Amendments 2-5