‘Vote as often as possible’ email from college president causes a stir


“UNFORTUNATE” WORDING: The president of New Mexico State University-Alamogordo said there was no intention to encourage students to vote more than once on Election Day.

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog

A phrase the president of New Mexico State University-Alamogordo used in an email sent to the student body Friday raised some eyebrows, but President Cheri Jimeno said she did not intend to cause a stir leading up to Election Day.

In the email, Jimeno wrote, “I would encourage you to vote as often as possible.”

“Unfortunately, it seems some people misunderstood,” Jimeno told New Mexico Watchdog in a brief telephone interview Tuesday morning. “You can only vote once. That’s what it means. So, realistically, when you sit there and say, vote as often as possible, what does that mean? It means you can vote once. That’s what it means.”

The email was picked up and distributed across the Internet by Gateway Pundit, a conservative political website based in St. Louis. Jimeno confirmed she wrote the email Friday morning:

Jimeno said she sent a second email Monday to students at the school that has an enrollment of just under 4,000 full-time and part-time students to try to clarify things:

email from jimeno on monday
“You have a responsibility and a right to vote,” said Jimeno, who has been the NMSU-A president for seven years. “Go vote, go exercise your right. We don’t care how you vote, we just want you to vote.”

There are two general obligation bond questions on the New Mexico ballot, which have an effect on colleges and universities across the state. General Obligation Bond B would provide $11 million for books and equipment at facilities that include institutions of higher learning. General Obligation Bond C would spend $141 million on construction and remodeling projects at state colleges and universities.

Jimeno’s emails did not explicitly call for students to vote “yes” on the measures but in the Friday email, she wrote, “the passage of the bonds will NOT increase taxes!”

“G.O. bonds B and C will basically help all higher education institutions throughout the state,” Jimeno said Tuesday. “That’s a given … Think about that when you go out to vote.”