In Brief - News - Oct. 15, 2012

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From The Associated Press

Court takes on voting case
SANTA FE  — The state Supreme Court wants more information about a lawsuit seeking to restore a straight party ticket voting option.
The court on Friday ordered the secretary of state to submit a written response to the lawsuit, which was filed Thursday by the state Democratic Party.
The justices directed Democrats to submit additional written legal arguments and to outline what effect it would have in the election if the straight ticket option was allowed now that absentee voting has started in the general election.
The responses are due by Tuesday. The court hasn’t decided yet whether to hold a hearing in the case.
Secretary of State Dianna Duran contends state law doesn’t allow for voters to make a single mark on their ballots to support a party’s entire slate of candidates.

Sheriffs may fight law
A newly formed sheriffs group said Friday it may lobby for the repeal of a New Mexico law allowing illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.
A number of sheriffs oppose the law, saying it could lead to illegal immigrants using fake addresses, and criminal syndicates getting licenses for those living illegally in the country, said Jack LeVick, executive director of the New Mexico Sheriffs’ Association.
“We just have a whole lot of concerns,” LeVick said. “Different problems keep surfacing for law enforcement here in New Mexico.”
LeVick said members will vote in 10 days on whether the group will launch lobbying efforts to repeal the law during the next legislative session.
The announcement came after Gov. Susana Martinez said the law has kept New Mexico from complying with a nationwide law imposing security standards for driver’s licenses.
In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Martinez asked for clarification of what will happen to New Mexico and other states if they fail by 2013 to meet the requirements of the Real ID Act, enacted in 2005.
The National Conference of State Legislatures said 17 states have passed laws that prohibit compliance with the Real ID program.

US Airways Flight diverted
 ALBUQUERQUE — A US Airways flight from Tampa, Fla., to Phoenix has made a precautionary landing in Albuquerque, after the pilots reported a crack in the plane’s windshield.
Airline spokesman Davien Anderson says the Airbus A319 did not lose cabin pressure and the landing was routine. The pilots did not declare an emergency.