- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico is allowing 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections as long as they turn 18 by the date of general elections.

Gov. Susana Martinez signed the measure into law on Wednesday.

Proponents of the legislation from Las Cruces Democrat Jeff Steinborn say it will encourage civic engagement. The law also is designed to ensure that people who turn 18 just before the general election have time to get registered.

State election officials say the change does not conflict with federal law because a primary vote is part of the nomination process.

Primary elections in New Mexico take place June 7 this year and the general election is on Nov. 8. The law goes into effect immediately.

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