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Municipal election day arrives Tuesday

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Early, absentee voting ended Saturday

After months of speeches and campaigning, the 2020 Roswell municipal election is heading for the final day of voting on Tuesday.

Four weeks of early and absentee voting ended Saturday night. Total votes cast so far is unknown. But the unofficial count of early voting from only City Hall totaled 941, according to City Clerk Sharon Coll.

That number does not include absentee votes or the voting that has occurred at the Chaves County Administrative Center site since Feb. 18.

Roswell had 24,595 people who were registered to vote in the city limits as of Jan. 31, according to information from the Chaves County Clerk’s Office.

Whether more city voters will participate in the municipal election this year than in previous years remains to be seen.

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Turnout could be bolstered by two citywide issues. Those are the municipal judge race and the question about whether the city should be authorized to issue up to $35 million in general obligation bonds to pay for a new public safety complex.

In recent years, turnout has been low. In 2018, when voters were deciding on a mayor and city councilors, there was a 39.75% turnout, with 9,259 votes cast and 23,292 registered voters.

In 2016, the turnout was smaller. Although the exact percentage is not available, only 11.27% of the 23,269 registered voters cast a ballot in that election’s only citywide vote, the municipal judge position.

This year, in addition to deciding the bond issue and choosing a municipal judge from one of three candidates, voters in all five city wards will be choosing a city councilor. Wards 1, 2 and 5 have contested races. Incumbents in Ward 3 and 4 are running unopposed.

Roswell voters can cast their ballots Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at any of the six voting locations. Free bus rides with Pecos Trails Transit will take voters to and from the nearest voting site.

The voting convenience center locations are as follows:

• St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 2911 N. Main St.;

• West Country Club Church of Christ, 700 W. Country Club Road;

• Roswell Museum and Art Center, 1011 N. Richardson Ave.;

• Waymaker Church, 202 S. Sunset Ave.;

• Chaves County Administrative Center (Area D), 1 St. Mary’s Place; and

• Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell (Campus Union Building), 48 University Blvd.

To keep up with coverage of this and other 2020 elections of local and regional interest, go to rdrnews.com/category/news/elections/.