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Two Ads Attack New Mexico House Bill Proposals

POSTED: Friday, February 13, 2009 - 8:13am

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 3:23pm

LAS CRUCES--- New Mexico Comcast subscribers are going to see two new commercials starting Friday.

The spots express opposition to "same day" voter registration, something state lawmakers are debating right now in committee hearings.

"How would you feel if a perfect stranger stole your vote?"
That's the opening line for one of the ads, made by local nonpartisan political group Hispanos Unidos.

Both will air over the next five days.

"Any bill that they're trying to push up having to deal with same day voter registration, that's what we're trying to stop," said Dax Contreras, 21, and a lead member of Hispanos Unidos.

He and several others in his group believe the two bills, HB 52, and HB 395, will lead to voter fraud.
So much so, they've raised $4,500 dollars to make the public aware.

"There is already so much voter fraud happening that if we didn't have any kind of voter identification already, that would just perpetuate the problem tremendously," said Contreras.

But Dona Ana County residents seem divided on the issue.

"Any election they should have a cutoff date to verify any voter, make sure they're a resident of the county and state," said Carla Anaya, registered Dona Ana County voter.

"Why not register to the day you want to vote? the only thing that could be wrong with it is if someone's going to lie or anything like that," said Jordan Wolle, another county registered voter.

That's exactly what Contreras and his group believe will happen if the bills pass; and that's just what the commercials suggest.

"No ID required, just a name. Maybe even your name," the ad suggests.

Yet according to HB 395, written by Dona Ana County Representative Joseph Cervantes, voters would have to present either a picture id, utility bill, or check with the voter's name and address.

We asked Contreras if he believed the ad was misleading.
"No, not at all." he replied.

He believes "same day" registration will allow no time for workers to verify an applicant's information.

NewsChannel Nine attempted to call and e-mail Representative Cervantes for his reaction to the advertisements several times Thursday, with no response.

The bills have passed the Consumer and Public Affairs Committee.
They will now head to the Elections Committee for further debate.

If you would like to see the ads for yourself, follow these links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjcpeIdHkm0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYIBM5MCbcc

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