Portales polling places combined

PNT staff report

The city of Portales will use a central polling place — the auditorium in the Portales Memorial Building — for today’s election.

Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

It is the first time one poll location will be used in a municipal election. The city did use one polling location in special election last year for Sunday alcohol sales.

Four councilor seats are up for election today, with Ward C councilor Leo Lovett running unopposed.

Portales’ City Clerk Joan Martinez-Terry said having less polling places in a smaller town would cause less confusion.

Martinez-Terry said one benefit is that elections won’t require as many poll-workers, which are hard to find.

In past elections, Martinez-Terry said she used a total of 19 to 20 workers but consolidating the polling places cuts that number to about half of that.

“These ladies that I have working the election are committed to running the election smoothly,” Martinez-Terry said.

During early voting, 148 votes were submitted out of about 6,000 registered voters in Portales. Martinez-Terry said that was roughly the same number as the last election in 2010.

She said the average voter turnout each election averages to about 11 percent of the registered voter population.