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The Latest: New Mexico Supreme Court to hear voting case

September 4, 2018

FILE - In this July 24, 2018, file photo, New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver speaks during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Republican Party of New Mexico has joined a bipartisan coalition to stop a move to bring back vote a straight-party ticket in the state's upcoming general election. The state GOP announced Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, it would join Unite New Mexico, the Libertarian Party of New Mexico, the Elect Liberty PAC, and Democratic state House candidate Heather Nordquist to file an emergency petition in the New Mexico Supreme Court to prevent the change. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh,File)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on New Mexico’s straight-party voting option (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

The New Mexico Supreme Court will hear arguments next week in the fight over the secretary of state’s decision to reinstate straight-party voting ahead of the upcoming general election.

The court issued an order Tuesday, setting a hearing for Sept. 12 in Santa Fe.

Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver is facing criticism after she announced last week she was formatting the ballots to allow voting in which a slate of major party candidates can be chosen all at one time.

Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat who is running for re-election, has argued that state statute gives her the authority to format the ballots.

Critics say there is no provision in state law that provides for straight-party voting and that the move was intended to give Democrats an advantage.

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3:45 p.m.

Commissioners in New Mexico’s second largest county have voted not to include a straight-party voting option in November’s general election.

Dona Ana County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 at a special meeting Tuesday to reject an effort by Democratic Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver to bring back a straight-party voting option.

San Juan, Curry and Roosevelt county commissions also are taking up measures to oppose straight-party voting.

Toulouse Oliver is facing criticism after she announced last week she was formatting the ballots to allow voting in which a slate of major party candidates can be chosen all at one time.

Dona Ana County spokesman Jess Williams says the county doesn’t plan to have the straight-party voting option on its ballots.

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10 a.m.

Some New Mexico counties are planning to denounce an effort by Democratic Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver to bring back a straight-party voting option in November.

Dona Ana, San Juan, Curry and Roosevelt county commissions all are scheduled to discuss Tuesday the straight-party voting option with many commissioners expressing the need to publicly oppose the move.

Toulouse Oliver is facing criticism after she announced last week she was formatting the ballots to allow voting in which a slate of major party candidates can be chosen all at one time. Critics say state law prevented her from doing that and that the move was intended to give Democrats an advantage.

Toulouse Oliver says her decision is legal and intended to provide “voters with many options.”

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