Secretary of State safeguards New Mexicans’ voting rights and our democracy
By Maggie Toulouse Oliver, New Mexico Secretary of State
I entered public service as County Clerk of Bernalillo County in 2007. Since then, motivated by my passion for democracy, my time as Bernalillo and then New Mexico’s top election administrator has been dedicated to safeguarding our democracy and uplifting our people’s voices.
As county clerk, I played a pivotal role in over-turning New Mexico’s same-sex marriage ban. As clerk and now secretary, I streamlined the democratic process for our citizens. In addition to revamping New Mexico’s voter registration system (such as implementing same-day registration and automatic registration), I have gone to work to expand ballot access by opening more convenience centers and enabling people to vote at their most convenient polling place.
During the pandemic, I made it easier to vote by mail so New Mexicans didn’t have to choose between their right to vote and their health.
Other secretaries of state from across the country ask me about New Mexico’s successes in order to model on our example.
My passion for democracy motivates my work and inspires me to continually identify systemic issues and find ways to address them.
I founded the Native American Voting Task Force to help provide equal access to the ballot box for our Indigenous nations, tribes, and pueblos.
In my academic work as a PhD student, my research is tailored to this same topic of identifying obstacles in voter access within traditionally disenfranchised communities.
I continue to advocate for stronger election transparency laws and a more robust campaign finance reporting system.
I continue to protect the integrity of our elections from foreign and domestic interference.
This month, in partnership with Governor Lujan Grisham, I introduced a legislative initiative meant to enhance voting rights—the New Mexico Voting Rights Act—by making election day a state holiday, making a permanent absentee ballot list, enhancing automatic voter registration, and protecting Native American voter access.
Outside of my public service to New Mexico, I am a member of New Mexico’s Martin Luther King Jr. Commission and a fellow at the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.
I love spending time with my two boys, Christian and Max, and my partner Tom. I’m also an avid audiobook listener.
I’m running for re-election because at such a critical time in our country’s history, New Mexicans deserve a secretary of state who will champion democracy—not work to undermine it. They deserve someone with the experience and integrity to protect our most fundamental freedoms.
New Mexico isn’t immune to the anti-democratic forces we see across the country. There are candidates in this race who openly embrace the Big Lie and will do the former president’s bidding if elected—we cannot let that happen!
I’m committed to this fight with you all by my side. Together, we’ll show the country why New Mexico is a leader when it comes to preserving our democracy.