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County Government

County Government

ALA NM Girls State is a weeklong experience, which lasts a lifetime, sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, this program teaches you the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship by a program of participation. At ALA NM Girls State you will become an active member of a mythical city, county, and political party. As such, you will vote in three elections – City, County and State, in which you may run for office, and you will actively participate in the government of your City, County, State, and party. In a week’s time, you will see most of the responsibilities of these offices executed.

Every ALA NM Girls State Citizen will have the opportunity to run for any office she wishes by simply filing a petition for candidacy. This provides each citizen the opportunity to run for the office she feels most qualified to fill and most interested in executing. For this reason these pages explaining the duties of each office are extremely important to you because you may determine the office you wish to run for before ALA NM Girls State begins. Bear in mind that you may run for a City and a County office or for City and State office, but not for a County and State office. It may be best to select two or three offices you’re interested in so that you can react objectively to the competition for these particular offices.

ALA NM Girls State begins with city government in action. By Monday afternoon all City Officials will be elected and by Monday night all City appointments will be made. Tuesday the County and State Primary Elections will be under way, and the County and Party Conventions will give each candidate an opportunity to speak. By bedtime Tuesday night the County and State Primary Election results will be in. Wednesday the Nationalist and Federalist Parties will be vying for top honors in the General Election, and by Wednesday all State and County Officials will be elected.

With the State of Officials completed, ALA NM Girls State will then begin the important work of government in action on all levels. Everyone may participate either as an elected or as an appointed Official. The enthusiasm you put in will determine how much you will get out of ALA NM Girls State. No ALA NM Girls State Citizen ever loses more than one election if she keeps up her enthusiasm and participates fully in all activities.

Acquaint yourself with the jobs of each of the Officials listed, and come to ALA NM Girls State prepared to participate completely. A copy of this document will be provided at session but you can also click here to download

Elected Officials

DISTRICT JUDGE – There are thirteen Judicial Districts in the thirty-three New Mexico counties with eighty-seven full time District Judges. At ALA NM Girls State there are only two districts and these are the same as the two counties in the jurisdiction. The District Court is a trial court of general, civil, and criminal jurisdiction and has broad powers in relation to the persons, subject matter, and disposition of cases referred to it. At ALA NM Girls State a criminal or civil case in law is tried with a jury before the District Judge. All first to fourth degree crimes are tried in this court. Appeals from this court go to the State Court of Appeals or the State Supreme Court.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY – The District Attorney or assistant represents the State in legal matters involving the county. She acts as legal advisor to all county and precinct officers and acts as their council in case a suit is brought by or against such office. She represents all school boards in the County, and she has the authority to act if she believes that public money is about to be misapplied, withdrawn or withheld from the County Treasurer. In general, the office of the District Attorney acts as the lawyer for the County and its officers in all of their business. At ALA NM Girls State she represents the State in District Court action.

MEMBER STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION – This Official visits all the schools in the District once a year and makes suggestions to the teachers and trustees of the school district. The board determines public school policy and vocational educational policy and has control, management, and direction of all public schools, pursuant to authority and powers provided by law. One member is elected from each ALA NM Girls State County.

COUNTY COMMISSIONER – The power of the county Commissioner is legislative, administrative, and supervisory in character. They include the levying of county taxes, the making and executing of the County budget, supervising the deposits and safekeeping of County funds. The managing of all properties of the County where no other provision is made by law, supervising the construction and maintenance of County roads, and supervising the carrying out of State laws within the County.

COUNTY CLERK – This official maintains a record of all deeds, mortgages and other legal papers, and keeps these records open for public inspection. The Clerk issues marriage licenses, records certificates of marriage ceremonies and records certificates of births. She also serves as clerk to the Probate Judge and to the Board of County Commissioners plus oversees the primary and general elections.

COUNTY TREASURER – This official is the Chief Financial Officer of the County. She is required to keep an accurate account of all monies received and disbursed and to post bond to insure the faithful performance of her duties. She collects not only the taxes due to the County, but also those levied by the State and incorporated municipalities. The latter are disbursed according to law for County purposes.

COUNTY SHERIFF – The Sheriff is the Chief Law Enforcement Official of the County. In addition to enforcing State laws within her jurisdiction and protecting life and property of residents of the County, the Sheriff performs the following duties: summons persons wanted as witnesses or jurymen and compels their attendance, carries out the orders of the District Court and executes its judgments, supervises the maintenance of the County jail and cares for prisoners.

STATE SENATORS (20) – The Senators form the smaller of the two legislative bodies of the State. At ALA NM Girls State they will write, debate and enact the legislation of the session in coordination with the House of Representatives. As County-Party Representatives their allegiance is to their voter constituents, but the better welfare of the whole State lies in their hands. Each County elects 10 Senators.

STATE REPRESENTATIVES (40) – The members of the House of Representatives form the larger of the two legislative bodies of the State. At ALA NM Girls State they will write, debate and enact the legislation of the session in coordination with the Senate. As County-Party Representatives their allegiance is to their voter constituents, but the better welfare of the whole State lies in their hands. Each County elects 20 Representatives.

County Officials Elected from the Floor

COUNTY CONVENTION CHAIRMEN – This official presides at the County Convention to keep candidates moving quickly through speeches.

COUNTY CONVENTION CLERK – This official keeps track of the County Convention taking notes and gives the record book to the County Counselor at the end of the Convention.

COUNTY CONVENTION TREASURER – This Official will use a deck of cards or another means to determine the order of speakers from the County-Party caucuses.

Appointed Positions in the Senate and House

CHAPLAIN – Each Legislative session is opened and closed with prayer by the Chaplain. The Chaplains will also be asked to give a prayer at the inaugural banquet.

CHIEF CLERK – The Chief Clerk shall be the official custodian of all bills, documents, papers, writings, and all other records of the Senate or House. She shall supervise the work of the Assistant Clerk, Enrolling Clerks, and Reading Clerks. At every session, the Chief Clerk calls the roll and makes a record of the Senators and Representatives present, absent, or excused as provided by the rules. The Chief Clerk delegates a Reading Clerk to read all bills, amendments and resolutions and all papers ordered to be read by the Senate or House, or by the presiding officers thereof. With her assistant, the Chief Clerk keeps a correct journal of the proceedings of the Senate or House. Titles and numbers of bills and their disposition are carefully recorded and kept up to date. The Chief Clerk superintends all matters originating in the House of Representatives, and the Chief Clerk of the House notifies the Senate of the action of the House on all matters originating in the Senate.

ASSISTANT CLERK – The Assistant Clerk aids the Chief Clerk in the Execution of her many duties and provides a check on activities of the Chief Clerk.

ENROLLING CLERK (2) – The Enrolling Clerks keep accurate records of the bills by title and number and keeps track of each bill’s particular disposition.

READING CLERK (2) – As the Chief Clerk designates, the Reading Clerks will read any bill, amendment, or resolution of the House or Senate.

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS – This Official aids in enforcing order on the floor of the Senate or House, in lobbies and galleries, and in the room adjoining the Legislature, and she also sees that no person remains on the floor unless entitled to the privileges of the Senate or House.  Whenever a message from the Governor or the other Legislative body arrives, it shall be the duty of the Sergeant-At-Arms to receive it, and announce its presence to the presiding officer. The Sergeant-At-Arms is also responsible for taking messages to the other Legislative body.

ASSISTANT SERGEANT-AT-ARMS – This Official aids the Sergeant-At-Arms in the execution of her many duties.

PAGES (4) – Each Legislative body has four pages to assist the Senators or Representatives in the exchange of notes or other materials. Pages are summoned by a slightly raised hand.



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