Confusing wording could sink New Mexico amendment

An amendment on the ballot in New Mexico could pave the way for taxpayers saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in school elections across the state.

But critics say the wording of Constitutional Amendment 1 on the Nov. 4 ballot may so confuse voters they may end up simply skipping the question or even inadvertently vote the opposite of what they intend.

“I think it’s too bad we don’t value clear writing on the ballot,” said Gwyneth Doland, a part-time instructor of journalism at the University of New Mexico, who thinks too many ballot questions are written in overly lawyered terms that come at the expense of plain English.

Even the sponsor of Amendment 1 concedes as much.

“I think in retrospect it could have been phrased more clearly,” said state Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Albuquerque.

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