At its April meeting, The University of New Mexico Staff Council voted to proceed with precinct elections the week of May 4-8. The Staff Council’s Constitution and Bylaws require elections to be held in the spring semester each year.

Voting will be held online as it is every year. Opinio links are emailed to all voting staff starting on May 4. Ballots can be accessed on computers and smartphones.

The decision to hold elections in May was made following a March 17 Executive Committee action which postponed Staff Council elections, originally scheduled for the last week in March, as staff learned they would need to leave campus for at least three weeks due to the coronavirus-related period of limited operations at UNM.

Staff were categorized into three tiers, many of them suddenly working from home, with an unknown number of staff placed in Tier 3 on-call status on that day. At that time, it was anticipated that staff would return to campus on April 6. It is difficult to predict when it will be safe for everyone to return to normal campus life, so the Staff Council must do its best to continue representing staff interests in this uncertain time.

The Staff Council Rules and Elections Committee is undertaking a number of efforts to reach off-campus and Tier 3 staff, including sending updates via grade and precinct listservs, eNews, and other news agencies, and trying to utilize informal networks to notify staff who may not be checking email. The R&E Committee is reaching out to Spanish-speaking staff by translating announcements and voting instructions, and is setting up a bilingual election hotline to be staffed during election week to assist with any voting issues that might arise. Staff can call 505-277-0778 to reach an election volunteer who will be able to assist in English or Spanish.

The committee is reaching out to supervisors in areas where staff don’t use computers as part of their regular work. Finally, the committee has arranged access for staff to the computer kiosks in Dane Smith Hall between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. the week of elections. The building is open through the northeast entrance.

Voting will open at 8 a.m. on Monday, May 4 and close on Friday, May 8, at 5 p.m.