Voter ID goes well at local polls, Dunbarton denies turning away voter
Pam Manney, supporting Republican candidates, poses with Barbara Carbonneau, who holds signs for Democrats, at Goffstown High School Tuesday, Nov. 6. (Kathy Remillard Photo)
Candidates Evelyn Connor and James Ashworth campaign at Weare Middle School on Election Day, Nov. 6. (Kathy Remillard Photo)
Election officials in Dunbarton said accusations that some residents were denied the right to vote because they didn't have a photo ID are false.
“Only hours after the polls opened, there have been reports from the New Hampshire AFL-CIO of poll workers in Dunbarton telling voters that they cannot cast their ballots without showing photo identification,” a statement from the organization signon.org said. The organization called on the governor to put a stop to requiring an ID at the polls.
But Dunbarton Town Moderator Fred Mullen said the petition was based on false information.
“Nobody's been refused,” he said, but added that a mixup occurred when a selectman instructed voters to access their IDs early on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Mullen said before the selectman could further instruct people to complete a voter identification affidavit if they did not have identification, a man interjected that he did not need to show an ID.
Mullen said he intervened and explained the process, and the man showed his ID without further incident.
Dunbarton Police Chief Daniel Sklut said even with a large voter turnout, voting was conducted in an orderly fashion.
“Several folks had no ID and went through the process fine,” he said.
Election officials in Bedford and Goffstown said a small number of voters completed affidavits with the state in place of showing a photo ID, and reported no problems with the new process.
“We've had no problems at all,” said Bill Brennan, assistant moderator in Bedford. “The biggest issue is people who left their IDs in their cars or purses.”
Some voters approached the table to ask questions, said Assistant Moderator Eric Bernard, but only about 20 had completed forms by mid-morning.
“No one has complained about it,” Brennan said.
In Goffstown, election volunteer Kerry Steckowych said the process was running smoothly overall, though some complained about it.
“One couple came in, and they had their IDs but they didn't see why they had to have them,” Stekowych said.
Moderator Rod Stark said no problems were reported in Goffstown.
Each town had tables set up before residents lined up to vote in an attempt to keep lines moving in an election that officials from both towns said seemed to have a large turnout.
“It's been steady, steady, steady,” said Mark Lemay, selectman in Goffstown, noting that cars overflowed out of the parking lot at Bartlett Elementary School in the early morning hours.
Council Chairman Bill Dermody said turnout was heavy in Bedford as well.
“By 8 a.m., they had processed about 1,000 voters,” he said.
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