- Associated Press - Friday, June 3, 2016

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on early voting leading up to New Mexico’s June 7 primary (all times local):

1 p.m.

New Mexico’s most populous county is seeing more people vote early and by absentee ballot than during the last presidential primary in 2012.

Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver said Friday that the turnout so far of nearly 34,000 people is almost twice what it was four years ago. On Thursday alone, about 4,300 people voted.

She says the race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders appears to be driving turnout since 70 percent of early voters have been Democrats.

Bernalillo County has mailed out more than 11,000 absentee ballots, also more than in 2012. Most of those have been sent to Democrats.

As of Friday morning, nearly 6,700 of those ballots had been returned by voters and were being processed by the county.

Early voting wraps up Saturday. The primary is Tuesday.


12:52 a.m.

Early and absentee voting in New Mexico’s primary election already is surpassing previous records for presidential election years ahead of Tuesday’s precinct balloting.

Balloting statistics provided Friday by the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office show that registered Democrats are behind the trend toward greater early voting.

More than 88,000 early and absentee ballots were cast before Friday among Republicans and Democrats with several days to go. In the 2012 primary there were nearly 85,000 early and absentee ballots cast by the close of election day out of roughly 239,000 ballots.

Democrats so far have cast just over 58,000 early and absentee ballots, well beyond early participation in 2012 of 50,000. Early voting concludes Saturday, and absentee ballots can be turned until 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Tuesday’s primary gives Democrats an unusual say in the nomination race between Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

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