- Associated Press - Friday, October 21, 2016

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on efforts to modernize New Mexico’s campaign finance and elections systems (all times local):

12:40 p.m.

Online voter registration has gained in popularity in New Mexico since the system pioneered at the start of the year.

New Mexico Elections Director Kari Fresquez said Friday that about 108,000 people have gone online to register or update voter records this year in a state with nearly 2.1 million residents. More than 25,000 people used the online system in the last couple of days before the general election registration deadline.

Democrats account for just over 49,000 of the people using the online voter registration system. Republicans account for nearly 30,000. Others choose small parties or have no affiliation.

Those numbers roughly correspond with party affiliation among all registered voters.

About 44,000 people have registered online so far this year.

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4:00 a.m.

New Mexico’s director of elections is briefing state lawmakers on efforts to modernize an online campaign finance information system widely criticized for obscuring the complete sources and destinations of political spending.

Elections Director Kari Fresquez of the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office is scheduled to brief a legislative technology committee Friday on the estimated $985,000 cost for the project.

Funding has yet to be secured for the new online clearinghouse for information on political contributions and lobbying expenditures, as lawmakers cope with a state budget crisis. The project was approved without appropriations in February under legislation signed by Gov. Susana Martinez.

Recently completed modernization efforts at the Secretary of State’s Office include online voter registration and a consolidated portal for business filings.

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