Hospital Mill Levy passes

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Unofficial results posted Tuesday night show 2,336 Socorro County residents favor renewing the hospital mill levy out of a total of 2,574 ballots cast, according to the Socorro County InfoNet website.

But the post office returned 2,764 undeliverable ballot envelopes to the clerk’s office, said Salina Lopez, Socorro County Bureau of Elections manager.

Several voters came in angry that they had not received their ballots in the mail, said Audrey Jaramillo, deputy county clerk.

“A lot of voters hadn’t updated their addresses,” she said. “People who get mail at their physical addresses had problems because of the E911 address changes.”

Voters did not realize that they have to notify the county clerk in writing when their address changes, Jaramillo said.

The mail-in election problems had a silver lining for the county clerk’s office.

“This election was a good thing,” Jaramillo said. “The voter rolls have been cleaned in plenty of time for the November election.”

Voters who did not receive a hospital mill levy ballot in the mail should come in to the county clerk’s office and fill out a voter registration form before Oct. 9 if they want to participate in this fall’s presidential election, Jaramillo said.

“Voters can go online and download a voter registration form from the New Mexico Secretary of State’s website, but the form has to be signed and delivered to the county clerk’s office,” Jaramillo said. “Voters can’t just call in changes.”

The property tax levy supporting the hospital and other health care facilities will be renewed for another eight years. As in the past eight years, people will be taxed at a rate of no more than $4.25 per thousand dollars of taxable value, which is one third the assessed property value, said Delilah Walsh, Socorro County Manager. For a residence assessed at $100,000, approximately $140 of the annual property tax bill is the mill levy supporting the hospital and other medical facilities in the county.

Voters approved the 4.25 mill levy rate at the last general election, she said.