About the Scorecard
Conservation Voters New Mexico’s 2015-2016 Conservation Scorecard provides objective, nonpartisan information about the conservation voting records of all members during both sessions of the 52nd Legislature of the State of New Mexico. Scorecards are a clear and comprehensive way for you to see how you are being represented on issues that matter to you.
Each vote was selected solely on the basis of the conservation values embodied in the legislation. In preparing this Scorecard, we sought input from legislative and conservation leaders; however, responsibility for the final set of selected votes rests entirely with Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM).
Thousands of votes are taken during a legislative session in New Mexico. Many of these votes represent overwhelming agreement on non-controversial issues or amendments. To provide better insight into the various positions of our legislators, CVNM tends to select measures that illustrate the key debates and fierce disagreement over conservation policy in the state.
CVNM selected the most critical votes on each issue. In some cases, a vote on an amendment to a bill or a procedural motion was more important than voting on the bill itself. In others, a procedural motion is the only public indication of a legislator’s position on a measure. In all cases, the actual vote included in the Scorecard is detailed in the vote description. Some votes, such as those taken on a motion to “Table” a bill, are not made public on the Legislature’s website. These votes are recorded and shared here as a demonstration of where legislators stand on critical issues. We have them to share due to the commitment of the conservation community to tracking hundreds of bills that threaten to harm our health and environment each session.
We encourage you to read the descriptions of each vote to determine how well your legislators represented you on the issues and bills that are most important to you.
CVNM Priority Votes
Let’s face it: not all votes are equal. Some votes are more critical than others, either because of the issues at stake or the personal courage required of legislators who take the pro-conservation position. Here, we try to represent the most critical measures by classifying them as “priority” votes,
with this symbol:. The value of these votes is doubled in the Scorecard.
Recording the Votes
If a legislator voted in support of the pro-conservation position, his or her vote is recorded on the chart as ; votes against the conservation position are indicated with .
If a legislator was excused from voting, this is noted by an , and the vote does not count positively or negatively towards their final score. If a legislator was not excused from voting but chose not to vote, they are recorded as ‘absent’, shown as . An absence counts against a legislator in the calculation of their score. If a legislator chooses to recuse themselves from a vote, this is noted by an , and the vote does not count positively or negatively towards their final score.
Wherever possible, the votes included in the Scorecard were taken on the floor of the House or Senate, where every legislator’s position can be represented. However, some of the most important actions are taken in legislative committees on measures that never reach the floor. In these cases, CVNM has presented the relevant committee votes, and the positions of legislators who do not serve on those particular committees are not indicated.
If the sponsor of a measure does not serve on a committee for which a vote is being scored, their sponsorship is considered representative of their position, and is recorded with a or , as appropriate. If a legislator was excused from the vote included in the Scorecard, but previously cast a vote on the measure—in committee, for example—their prior position is recorded in the Scorecard, as long as the vote is substantially the same.