New Mexico

State website:
2010-cycle districts: Congress, State Senate, State House  « NEW 
2000-cycle districts:, Congress, State Senate, State House
Primary governing law: N.M. Const. art. IV, § 3, N.M. Stat. §§ 2-8D-2, 2-7C-3

The Latest

Congress: On Sept. 19, the state Senate passed SB 22, but the 2011 special session ended before the bill was taken up by the state House. On December 29, a state court issued congressional maps instead.

State leg.: On Sept. 23, the state legislature passed SB 33 (state Senate) and HB 39 (state House), but they were vetoed by the governor on October 7. On January 3, a state court issued state House maps instead; the same court issued state Senate maps on January 16. On February 10, the State Supreme court struck the state House maps, 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.

On February 27, the trial court issued a new state House plan.

  • Institution

    Redistricting political control:

    Governor State Senate State House
    Congressional lines R 27 D, 15 R 37 D, 33 R
    State legislative lines R 27 D, 15 R 37 D, 33 R
    2000 cong. lines R 24 D, 18 R 42 D, 28 R
    2000 state lines R 24 D, 18 R 42 D, 28 R

    New Mexico's congressional and state legislative lines are drawn by the legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto. The members of the legislative committee with responsibility for redistricting are listed here.

  • Timing

    Census data were delivered to New Mexico on March 15, 2011.

    New Mexico law does not currently provide a particular deadline to draw either congressional or state legislative lines. The regular 2012 legislative session will begin on January 17, 2012, and end February 16, 2012. Candidates must file for congressional and state legislative primary elections by February 14, 2012. [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 legislative committee with responsibility for redistricting held public meetings to gather input on the redistricting process.

  • Criteria

    Like all states, New Mexico must comply with constitutional equal population requirements and with section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

    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, and as compact "as is practical and possible." [N.M. Stat. §§ 2-8D-2, 2-7C-3]

    Furthermore, in 2011, the legislature established guidelines for drawing state legislative and congressional districts. These guidelines asked that districts (including congressional districts) be "reasonably compact," that they not split voting precincts, and that, "to the extent feasible," they attempt to preserve communities of interest and take into consideration political and geographic boundaries. The guidelines also established that the legislature could seek to preserve the core of existing districts. The legislature may modify these guidelines at any time.

  • 2010-cycle cases

    On October 14, 2011, the New Mexico Supreme Court consolidated all redistricting litigation in the 1st Judicial District Court, in Santa Fe.

    Due to the volume of filings in New Mexico, information on the New Mexico cases is located on a separate litigation page, here.

  • 2000 cycle

    In the 2000 redistricting cycle, the New Mexico legislature passed a congressional plan that was vetoed on October 3, 2001. When the legislature did not pass another plan, a state trial court drew congressional districts, on January 2, 2002. [Jepsen v. Vigil-Giron, No. D0101-cv-2001-02177 (N.M. Dist. Ct. Jan. 2, 2002)]

    The legislature also passed state House and state Senate plans that were vetoed on September 15, 2001; new state House and state Senate plans were also vetoed, on October 3, 2001. Though the legislature managed to pass a third state Senate plan, signed on March 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 January 24, 2002. [Jepsen v. Vigil-Giron, No. D0101-cv-2001-02177 (N.M. Dist. Ct. Jan. 24, 2002)]

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