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November 06. 2012 4:36PM

Voter ID law no problem for most Keene voters; campaigns sent four lawyers just in case


Huseyin Sakar lets his six-year-old daughter Yaren Asker submit his ballot at the Keene Ward 2 polls on Tuesday afternoon. (MEGHAN PIERCE/Union Leader Correspondent)
KEENE – Ward 2 in the Keene Recreation Center on Washington Street is seeing a steady stream of voters, Ward Moderator Ellen Wishart said.

By the afternoon over 200 new voters had registered at the polls and 1,358 residents had voted so far, she said.

The city has five wards and 14,932 registered voters. Ward 2 has 3,073 registered voters.

Wishart said she expects voter turn out to be comparable or greater than the 2008 presidential election.

So far the voter ID law has not been an issue, she said.

“We did hear some people say they had an ID but didn't agree with the new law and so they signed the affidavit,” Wishart said.

Aside from showing a photo ID or signing a challenged voter affidavit a voter can also ask to be personally identified by the ward moderator, ward clerk, or ward supervisor, Wishart said.

If any of these election officials know the person they can vouch for their identity, she said.

Election volunteer George Scott said some voters have complained to him.

“They grouse about it, but nobody said they are not going to vote because of the rule,” Scott said.

Scott said there was an issue with a homeless man who came in to vote, but he was able to sign a challenged voter affidavit, he said.

“We want people to vote, just because he's homeless doesn't mean you want people disenfranchised,” he said. “The moderator has really been well trained with what's going on.”

Any voters with an identification issue also had four attorneys on hand. Scott said the Obama campaign sent three attorneys to the Ward 2 polls and the Romney campaign sent one attorney.

Voting started at the Ward 2 at 8 a.m. and ends today at 7 p.m.

Scott said when the doors were opened about 60 people were waiting to come in and vote.

“It's amazing to see the flood of people who vote. It's everybody,” Scott said. “We could get up to 60 to 70 percent turnout.”

He said he expects the largest amount of people to come in at between 5 to 7 p.m.

Along with the steady stream of voters coming in, unregistered voters have filled the tables for registration all day, he said.

Whether they are Keene State College students or just young people working or in-between school, Keene has a large young person population, Scott said, and they want to be engaged and voting.

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