Area towns prepare for election with new ID rules
A tsunami of turnout is expected at the polls. New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, as well as local officials, predict a record turnout for Election Day on Tuesday, Nov 6.
Compounding matters are the state's voter ID requirement, challenged voter affidavits for those who do not have the required identification with them, and voters who want to register the day of the election. All these will combine to make voting a slower process than usual, officials said.
“I always go by what Bill Gardner says,” said Town Moderator Rodney Stark about the expected turnout among more than 10,000 registered voters in Goffstown. “Ballots arrived Tuesday; the voting machines were tested. Everything seems to be in working order,” said Stark, who will be overseeing his eighth presidential election as Goffstown town moderator.
Goffstown has two voting locations. The high school is the main one for the town, while Bartlett Elementary School is for voters in District 5 – the Pinardville area.
To handle the expected crowds more tables will be set up and the checklist split accordingly.
“At the high school, it's being split nine ways. At Bartlett, which has fewer voters, it will be split six ways,” said Stark. “(Town Clerk) Cathy Ball is doing a good job lining everyone up.”
Stark said student volunteers from the high school will assist voters, directing them to where they need to go, to expedite the process.
Those who need to register will be directed to a table. Those without the required photo identification will go to another table to fill out a challenged-voter affidavit. With that, assuming the voter is already registered, they will receive a ballot and proceed to a voting booth.
All votes cast by those who fill out the challenged-voter affidavit will be counted on Election Day, but they will have to provide proof of identity to the town later.
If a voter fails to respond to the town's request, the name is turned over to the Attorney General's office for investigation.
Voter registration at town halls ended last Saturday, Oct. 27, but anyone not registered and wanting to vote will be able to register at the polls.
Voters who miss an election could be purged from the voting rolls, so if you did not vote in the 2010 election, you likely need to register to vote this year. Be sure to bring identification and go to the registration table before checking in.
Even though the state's voter ID law is now in effect, not having identification will not prevent someone from voting.
Filling out a challenged-voter affidavit will allow a person without an ID to obtain a ballot.
Liz Tentarelli of the New Hampshire League of Women Voters said even this close to the election, voters are getting confusing information.
“We've had reports that some voters calling their town halls are being told they can't vote without ID. That is simply not the case,” said Tentarelli.
To ensure Goffstown poll workers are fully briefed on all the requirements, an election worker training session will be held Saturday, Nov. 3, at 10 a.m. at Goffstown Town Hall.
But one thing is certain, this is one of the most hotly contested elections in years. And not just the presidential race. Contests for Congress and governor are neck and neck. Several other state and local offices will be voted on as well as two questions concerning amending the state Constitution.
While other states offer early voting, Stark said he's a traditionalist and prefers keeping voting to one day. But he cites absentee ballots as a form of early voting in the state.
The Goffstown News
100 William Loeb Drive
Manchester, NH 03109
News, Obituaries, & Social Announcements
Henry Metz, Managing Editor
Email ads to email@example.com
Classified advertising: 603-669-1010
Display advertising: 603-206-7800 x264
Rate card | Ad Order | Credit application
Please use our online form at www.nh365.org
UNH unveils new 'shield' logo
Word of Abby's letter spurs tips of no use