Prof. Justin Levitt's Guide to Drawing the Electoral Lines

New Mexico

State Summary

New Mexico’s congressional and state legislative lines are drawn by the legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto.

In the 2010 cycle, the New Mexico legislature stalled on a congressional plan; on Dec. 29, 2011, a state court issued congressional maps instead.  The legislature passed state Senate (SB 33) and state House (HB 39) plans that were vetoed on Oct. 7, 2011, and a state court took over proceedings here as well.  On Jan. 16, 2012, it issued state Senate maps, and on Jan. 3, 2012, it issued state House maps.  The state Supreme Court struck the state House maps on Feb. 10, 2012, and the trial court issued a new state House plan on Feb. 27, 2012.

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Seats:

Institution:

Drawn by:

Plan Status:

Party Control:
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  Lower House:
  Governor:

Key Info for 2000 Cycle

Primary governing law

Website

Key Info for 2010 Cycle

Website

Primary governing law

Key Info for 2020 Cycle

Primary governing law

Data

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Institution

New Mexico’s congressional and state legislative lines are drawn by the legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto.

Timing

New Mexico law does not currently provide a particular deadline to draw either congressional or state legislative lines.  Candidates must file for congressional primary elections by Feb. 1, 2022, and for state legislative primary elections by Mar. 8, 2022. [N.M. Stat. § 1-8-26(a)]

New Mexico law appears to prohibit redrawing state legislative lines mid-decade, before the next Census; there is no similar provision pertaining to congressional lines. [N.M. Const. art. IV, § 3]

Public input

The legislature has not announced any specific plans for public input this cycle just yet.

Criteria

Like all states, New Mexico must comply with constitutional equal population requirements and must abide by the Voting Rights Act and constitutional rules on race.

New Mexico statutes establish additional criteria for state legislative districts, though these criteria may also be altered by the state legislature. Current statutes require state legislative districts to be contiguous; state Senate districts must be as compact “as practical,” and state House districts must be as compact “as is practical and possible.” [N.M. Stat. §§ 2-8D-2, 2-7C-3]

In past cycles, the legislature has also established additional guidelines.

2010 cycle

The New Mexico legislature stalled on a congressional plan; on Dec. 29, 2011, a state court issued congressional maps instead. [Egolf v. Duran, No. D-101-CV-2011-02942 (N.M. Dist. Ct., Santa Fe Cnty. Dec. 29, 2011)]

The legislature passed state Senate (SB 33) and state House (HB 39) plans that were vetoed on Oct. 7, 2011.  A state court took over proceedings; on Jan. 16, 2012, it issued state Senate maps, and on Jan. 3, 2012, it issued state House maps.  The state Supreme Court struck the state House maps on Feb. 10, 2012, with instructions for the trial court to reconsider the extent to which mildly larger population deviations would satisfy other state redistricting criteria, to reconsider the partisan impact and incumbent pairings of a court-ordered plan, and to recognize a district protecting Hispanic voters in the Clovis area under the Voting Rights Act.  The trial court issued a new state House plan on Feb. 27, 2012.  [Egolf v. Duran, No. D-101-CV-2011-02942 (N.M. Dist. Ct., Santa Fe Cnty. Feb. 27, 2012); Maestas v. Hall, 274 P.3d 66 (N.M. 2012); Egolf v. Duran, No. D-101-CV-2011-02942 (N.M. Dist. Ct., Santa Fe Cnty. Jan. 16, 2012)]

The maps were not further challenged in court.

Materials and maps are available here.

2000 cycle

The New Mexico legislature passed a congressional plan (SB 33) that was vetoed on Oct. 3, 2001. When the legislature did not pass another plan, a state trial court drew congressional districts, on Jan. 2, 2002. [Jepsen v. Vigil-Giron, No. D0101-cv-2001-02177 (N.M. Dist. Ct. Jan. 2, 2002)]

The legislature also passed state Senate (SB 2) and state House (HB 7) plans that were vetoed on Sept. 15, 2001; new state Senate (SB 34) and state House (HB 3)  plans were also vetoed, on Oct. 3, 2001. Though the legislature managed to pass a third state Senate plan (SB 485), signed on Mar. 5, 2002, it was not able to do so with respect to the state House. When the legislature did not pass another state House plan, a state trial court drew those state House districts, on Jan. 24, 2002. [Jepsen v. Vigil-Giron, No. D0101-cv-2001-02177 (N.M. Dist. Ct. Jan. 24, 2002)]

The maps were not further challenged in court.

Materials and maps are available here.