A large, military-style tent that was being used for voting in Bedford was sent airborne by blustery winds on Tuesday.
One person was injured in the accident, which involved an enclosed, outside tent that was designated for voters who were maskless, according to election workers.
“If anyone has seen ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and Dorothy and Toto and everything else, or Twister, yes, unfortunately, we did have an incident,” said Bill Klein, town moderator in Bedford.
The tent was held down by bags of water, which slowly leaked out, Klein said.
“All of a sudden, once that water leaked out, the tent went up,” he said.
An alternative plan for voters without masks was put in place immediately, Klein said.
Although no voters were inside the tent at the time, some volunteer poll workers were.
The person who was injured did not require hospitalization, Klein said.
Klein said Election Day was running smoothly at Bedford High School, where about 8,000 absentee ballots had been submitted. He was anticipating an additional 8,000 to 9,000 in-person ballots on Tuesday.
“This means that we will have blown the numbers off — every number. The number of absentee votes and the number of in-person votes combined for the presidential election every four years, I think the highest number that we ever had was about 12,000 in the past,” Klein said. “We are looking at over 90% voter turnout, which I don’t think we have ever done before for any election.”
About a month ago, Bedford had about 18,000 registered voters, which climbed to nearly 19,000 before Tuesday. About 500 people were at the Bedford polling site before 7 a.m. on Tuesday waiting to register to vote, Klein said.
Matt Mowers, a Republican candidate for Congress in New Hampshire’s First Congressional District, arrived Tuesday afternoon to cast his ballot in Bedford.
“I feel great. The total enthusiasm on the ground is palpable — you feel it,” said Mowers. “Folks were lined up at some places at 5 a.m. You would have thought it was a U2 concert with a turnout like that.”