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Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

The Albuquerque-based seat in the House of Representatives won’t be vacant for much longer.

Voters in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District head to the polls Tuesday to decide who will replace Rep. Deb Haaland, who resigned from her seat after being confirmed as secretary of the interior.

Aubrey Dunn

Vying to replace Haaland are state Rep. Melanie Stansbury, D-Albuquerque, and state Sen. Mark Moores, R-Albuquerque. Chris Manning, a Libertarian candidate from Farmington, and Aubrey Dunn, an independent from Torrance County, will also appear on the ballot. Stansbury, Moores and Manning were tapped as nominees this spring by officials within their respective parties.

Chris Manning

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

Mark Moores

Early voting wrapped up on Saturday, and it appears that Democrats have the advantage. Through early voting, 54,111 registered Democrats had cast a ballot and 27,934 Republicans had voted, according to data from the Secretary of State’s Office. About 10,700 voters who don’t state a political party have also voted, according to the data, which doesn’t show how the person voted, only which party they belong to.

Melanie Stansbury

The 1st Congressional District encompasses most of Bernalillo County, all of Torrance County and slivers of Sandoval, Santa Fe and Valencia counties.

Tuesday’s vote marks the first time that New Mexicans will be allowed to register and vote on Election Day. The change is due to a 2019 law that has been gradually phased in. For the last two years, voters could register to vote or change their registration up to the Saturday before Election Day.

People who want to register and vote Tuesday can do so at a county clerk’s office. Some county clerks overseeing voting will have additional sites to register or update voter registration. In Bernalillo County, for example, people will be able to register at voting locations, according to the clerk’s website.

People will need to bring a current and valid photo ID or a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, student identification card or other government document, including identification issued by an Indian nation, tribe or pueblo that shows your name and current address, according to the clerk’s office.

During early voting, nearly 1,100 people registered to vote or updated their voter registration at the voting locations, according to Secretary of State’s Office data.

Tuesday’s vote will bring an end to a two-month campaign.

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Stansbury’s campaign has focused on issues she worked on as a member of the Legislature, such as expanding a school lunch program, and her support of President Joe Biden’s agenda. Moores, meanwhile, has spent much of his campaign advocating for law enforcement and New Mexico’s oil and gas industry.

The last time the district’s voters filled a vacant congressional seat was in 1998, when Republican Heather Wilson was elected months after Rep. Steve Schiff, also a Republican, died of skin cancer. Democrats have a narrow margin of control in the chamber. There are 219 seats controlled by Democrats and Republicans have 211 seats. There are five vacant seats, including the one being decided Tuesday in central New Mexico.

The race has received national attention. Biden recently announced his endorsement of Stansbury and Moores has the support of the Albuquerque Police Officers Association and former South Carolina Gov. and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.