Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

'Stealth Election' Slammed.(Final)

Byline: Isabel Sanchez Journal Staff Writer

* Critics Say Conservancy District Reforms Needed

A bill to require mail-in ballots for Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District elections failed earlier this year after district officials argued that the current system is "fair and effective" and shouldn't be changed.

But change is exactly what the district's critics say the agency needs, especially in its single-digit voter-turnout rate.

"This is a stealth election," former Mayor Jim Baca said of the June 3 contest to decide three conservancy district board positions, one of them unopposed.

"This agency is arguably one of the most important in New Mexico because of the water it controls. …

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