The pandemic continues to have a significant impact within our community including the upcoming September 8th NH State Primary election and the November 3rd Presidential Election. Our election planning has been underway for several months working to implement protective changes in our election operations. For those uncomfortable moving about in public, we are suggesting absentee voting as one available option to address those concerns.
If you wish to vote in person, there are several changes being implemented for voter protection and to comply with changes in state election law. First, face masks will be required to be worn for all individuals entering the gymnasium. That includes voters, election volunteers and officials as well as any minors attending with their parents/guardians. Those of you not wishing to wear masks will have the opportunity to cast your ballot in a separate, spatially isolated area by filling in an absentee ballot and affidavit as required by the Secretary of State’s and Attorney General’s offices.
Concern for exposure to COVID is now categorized as a “physical disability” allowing absentee voting under RSA 657:1. For those voters who have obtained an absentee ballot from the Town Clerk before the election and are concerned with mail delivery, we will accept your absentee ballot at the election site anytime from 7AM until no later than 5PM on election day. Absentee ballots filled out by those who decline to wear a mask will be accepted up until the closure of the polls at 7PM. Citizens who have a disability, including a concern with COVID, and do not wish to enter the polling place may vote by absentee ballot in their vehicle. Those voters should call on election day either (603) 845-6158, (603) 845-6376 or (603) 845-6219 and someone will meet you to assist in voting.
In the Primary election, undeclared voters who wish to return to undeclared, will now receive a form from the ballot clerks that can be filled in and deposited into a collection box. Only those listed as “undeclared” can change their party affiliation on election day; all declared voters looking to change party must do so prior to the primary election.
The layout of the voting area has also changed and we will position greeters who will direct you to the appropriate line. Please see the NH Secretary of States website at https://sos.nh.gov/ for information on voting in NH as well as watch the Town’s website at https://litchfieldnh.gov/ for updated information.
While we expect that these new procedures and poll layout will bring some confusion and frustration, we respectfully request that everyone be patient and understanding. We would like to recognize and thank all of you who have stepped up and volunteered your time to assist at these elections. Your support is greatly appreciated.