New Mexico is governed according to a constitution that became effective when statehood was achieved in 1912. Amendments may be proposed in either house of the legislature and must be approved by both houses and by a majority of the electorate before becoming law. A more complex process is necessary for amendments involving the right to vote, school lands, and the languages used in education.
New Mexico’s executive officers, who include the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, attorney general, auditor, and land commissioner, are elected for four-year terms and cannot serve consecutive terms.
The state legislature consists of a Senate and a House of Representatives. The 42 senators are elected for four-year terms, and the 70 representatives for two years. The legislature convenes annually on the third Tuesday of January for sessions not exceeding 60 days in odd-numbered years and 30 days in even-numbered years. There are also special sessions.
The judicial branch of government is headed by a supreme court of five justices, who are elected for staggered terms of eight years. New Mexico also has an appellate court, district courts, juvenile and probate courts in each county, and municipal and magistrate courts in more densely populated areas. All judges in the state are elected.
Each county is governed by a board of three to five commissioners, who are elected for two-year terms. Municipalities are incorporated as cities, towns, or villages, with their own governments. The Native Americans have their own forms of self-government by way of reservation elective councils. In addition to its two senators, New Mexico elects three representatives to the Congress of the United States giving the state a total of five electoral votes. "New Mexico" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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