The mill levy election Tuesday to answer Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell’s request for additional property taxes has already drawn a surprising number of early voters.
“It might be a decent turnout for this type of election,” Kunko said.
More than 5 percent of the 33,000 voters in the county — 1,730 — had already cast early ballots as of Thursday night.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, but voters will face a new polling system.
ENMU-R elected to use Voting Convenience Centers for its election. As a result, voters are not assigned traditional precinct locations. The locations were narrowed down to 10 sites, where anyone who has registered can choose to cast a ballot.
Voters do not have to show identification, but poll workers might appreciate it if they had them available, Kunko said.
“By law, you don’t have to, but we like it when you do,” Kunko said. “It’s easier to find people.”
The county received new computers and was expected to begin setting them up Friday and Monday, Kunko said.
The new system is heavily reliant on Internet connections and back-up systems to ensure those who vote are immediately accounted for system- wide.
“We have back-ups for the Internet,” Kunko said. “We’re going to be ready.”
The mill levy election will be the first test in Chaves County for the Voting Convenience Center system. Chaves County Commissioners declined to implement the new system for its general election this year, electing to spend more time studying the process and finalizing the system.
The City of Roswell will utilize the centers in its election in March.
On Tuesday, Chaves County voters will decide whether to establish a mill levy tax rate at $3 for each $1,000 of net taxable value of all property within the district. The tax would be indefinite.
ENMU-R is asking voters for the increase in property tax to fund school operations. If passed, the increase is expected to generate $2.1 million a year for the school.
For a homeowner of a $100,000 home, once the current building construction bond retires this year, the proposed mill levy would add $66.67 next year. The total paid to ENMU-R would be $96.57.
The money would pay to keep the school running at current levels, said ENMU-R President John Madden.