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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Bernalillo County Clerk

The County Clerk is the ex-officio recorder for the county and may legally record any document that is certified. The office issues marriage and occupational licenses. The clerk’s bureau of elections administers all elections in the county. Elected for a four-year term with no more than two terms in succession.

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    Michelle S Kavanaugh

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    Robert Joseph Kwasny

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    Karen Louise Montoya

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    Clayton J Pryor

Biographical Information

What abilities do you have that qualify you for this office?

What is your top priority, and how do you plan to address it?

Can the Clerk’s office do more to encourage voter turnout?

What are the biggest challenges in the County Clerk’s office?

Should the County Clerk position continue to be an elected position? Why or why not?

Campaign Phone 505-730-0755
Occupation Deputy County Clerk
I'm currently the Deputy County Clerk. I'm involved in all aspects of election administration in addition to overseeing our Recording & Filing department. I have extensive knowledge of the election process and statutory requirements ensuring transparent, ethical, and honest elections. In 2024, MIT named New Mexico as the state with the best run elections in the country. As the largest county in NM, Bernalillo County was a critical component of that ranking.
My top priorities are expanding information and access about/to the ballot box. Engaging our underserved and underrepresented communities will ensure that all voices are heard. As your next County Clerk, I will expand educational partnerships with the school system, and partner with community organizations to reach as many eligible voters as possible.
Absolutely! Right now, our office issues a series of Public Service Announcements related to election FAQ's, before every election. Expanding our tv, radio, and social media presence will capture the attention of additional voters, especially when tailored toward specific demographics, ensuring potential voters have a true understanding of the issues. I will also expand our presence at community events and hope to partner with other government agencies, UNM and CNM to engage voters.
Ensuring that legislators have a good understanding of the process as they enact legislation that affects elections. Additionally, making sure that poll officials (essentially community volunteers) and staff are paid adequately.
The County Clerk is a completely non-partisan position, highly administrative in function. Thorough knowledge of the NM State Election Code is necessary. Hypothetically, electing a new Clerk every four years has the potential to disrupt office functionality. If the Clerk continues to be an elected position, at the very least, term lengths and term limits should be reviewed.
Campaign Mailing Address 18 Juan Rd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87123-9634
Campaign Phone 505-908-7971
Campaign Email
Campaign Website
Occupation Data Scientist
I have been a top business consultant for Small, Medium and Fortune 250 companies. For 49 years I have been lucky to have been "the" problem solver... Interviewing C-Level executives for what they felt were the worst problems to solve in their company as well as the best possible solutions they hoped to create. I then did the same with middle management - to the janitors. Often the C-Levels were in a bubble and I was able to prove to them a variation of what they wished... needed modification.
In a recent conversation with our current Deputy County Clerk, it was revealed to me Bernalillo and NM Information Technology has been a low priority for a long time. To serve the citizens of Bernalillo properly, a proper in-depth analysis needs to be conducted with stake holders, focusing first on citizen complaints and bottlenecks. This is exactly what I've done all my professional life. I created some of the first Artificial Intelligence 23 years ago.. from scratch and develop with AI daily.
The Clerk's office could absolutely increase voter turnout in a non-partisan way. The Clerk has the history of registered voters and could if approved by City Counsil, initiate a comprehensive, cost effective, informational outreach effort. It's extremely clear to me that too many Bernalillo residents declare, "My vote doesn't matter", so they don't... My goal would be to educate them, that their vote does matter greatly and empower them to do so...
Having Reviewed the 3-9-2023 Annual Budget Hearing presentation to the Commission... I already have some clues, but naturally finer details were missing, however that review is a great starting point. My personal methodology has always been to conduct a complete COMPREHENSIVE "Discovery Process" PRIOR to working on Challenges -- NOT doing things piecemeal... the way the Clerk's office has apparently been functioning in the past, potentially due to budgetary constraints.
Absolutely, an Elected Position. 24/26 states have elected County Clerks... the rest are appointed or have no County Clerk position whatsoever. The role of CC is to be the BUFFER between Citizens and Councils/Commissions and in my opinion, need to term out exactly the way it is currently established in NM. From my corporate experience... fresh eyes are exactly what are needed to discover inadequacies, to discover what may need attention and provide a fresh voice for citizen advocacy...
Campaign Mailing Address 6420 Monahiti Pl NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Campaign Phone 575-494-0269
Occupation Retired/Candidate
With over 25 years of public service experience, including roles as Bernalillo County Assessor and New Mexico Public Regulation Commissioner, I possess a deep understanding of governance. My commitment to integrity, transparency, and community empowerment uniquely qualifies me to lead as County Clerk.
My top priority is ensuring fair and inclusive elections. I plan to implement my comprehensive plan, including Quiet Hour for voters with autism, sensory voting options, and accessible voting for seniors in senior living facilities, to achieve this goal.
Absolutely, I'm committed to integrating comprehensive voter education programs alongside voter registration outreach efforts in the Clerk's office. Additionally, I'll prioritize hosting outreach events specifically tailored to felons and individuals released from prison to restore their right to vote, ensuring inclusivity and democratic participation for all members of the community.
The biggest challenges in the County Clerk’s office include ensuring accurate voter registration, safeguarding elections, managing public records, issuing marriage licenses, overseeing property records, and maintaining fairness amidst evolving legal and technological landscapes.
Yes, the County Clerk position should remain elected to uphold democratic principles, ensuring accountability, transparency, and representation in local governance.
Campaign Phone 505-340-6241
Twitter @ClayPryorForNM
Campaign Website
Occupation Retired
My wife of 45 years and I are Albuquerque natives who have spent our entire lives (except for one year) here. I earned my degrees from UNM and have worked for the State of NM and Sandia Labs.

I have extensive experience in business systems development, process optimization and automation that will enable me to understand and suggest improvements to the County Clerk's business systems including the Recording and Filing systems and the Election systems.
As a software developer for several decades, I know that I can write code to implement just about any algorithm you can think of so I have always had my doubts about our voting systems.

By NM State Law, processes are in place to ensure that any faulty tabulators will be detected. However, in my opinion, the implementation at the State level, is currently flawed.

I will do all I can as County Clerk to correct this issue and ensure confidence in our elections through transparency.
Yes. We can, and we should, reach out to registered voters who have not voted in recent elections to understand why they have not voted and take measures to resolve any issues identified. If change is needed, after analysis, we can follow established processes within the law to make those changes.

One of the issues that seems to be prevalent is a lack of confidence in our election systems. We can build greater confidence in our election systems through education and greater transparency.
While I believe the staff in the County Clerk's office are doing great work, it is always a good idea to review and improve on administrative processes. This applies to all functions in the County Clerk's office. We should ask the question "what is the most important process improvement to tackle next?"

I am of the school of thought that believes a benefit/cost analysis should be conducted prior to starting any project. Sunk costs (looking back) should not factor into the analysis.
Yes, absolutely. Although I have wondered why it is an elected position in the past, I am confident that it should continue to be an elected position in order to retain greater control over the office by the public. We need to continue to give the public a strong say in who is responsible for the essential functions that the County Clerk performs.

I believe the public should have more control over our government not less.