Public Notice | Completing Your Absentee Ballot

Public Notice | Completing Your Absentee Ballot

Last Friday, the absentee ballots requested by Litchfield’s voters were distributed throughout town via mail.  As your Moderator it is my responsibility under state law to inspect the forms of each absentee ballot ensuring that it is correctly completed prior to allowing your ballot to be counted as part of the election.  During the September 8th NH State Primary election, while inspecting the absentee ballots, we found several that required me to hold the ballot from being cast until corrected.  While I did personally contact each voter who submitted a defective ballot form and informed them of the problem providing  them an opportunity to correct the deficiency, that creates a lot of problems for all concerned.  As of Wednesday September 30th, Litchfield voters have requested approximately 800 absentee ballots with over a month to go before the November 3rd election.  Normally, we have approximately 300 +/- absentee ballots requested for this type of election.  With the high number of absentee ballots requested, I wanted to take the opportunity of providing you with information on how to correctly complete your absentee ballot forms. 

Your absentee ballot pack is composed of three parts; the actual ballot on which you will mark your vote for your choice of candidate, the outside mailing envelope that will be used to send you ballot through the mail and finally, the inner envelope that contains two squares containing statements requiring your signature and attestation called the affidavit envelope.  

To complete your absentee ballot, mark your choice of candidates on the ballot as if you were voting in person at the polls on election day.  Use a pencil to darken in the small oval next to your favorite candidate’s name or darken in the oval and write in a name following the instructions contained on the ballot. Fold the ballot and place it into the affidavit envelope and seal that envelope. On the outside of the affidavit envelope, you will find a lot of wording requiring your attention and signature.  THIS IS IMPORTANT, DO NOT SEND IN OR DELIVER AN ABSENTEE BALLOT WITHOUT COMPLETELY FILLING ONE OF THE AFFIDAVIT SECTION OUT AND SIGNING.  Select one of the two reasons for using an absentee ballot that fits your situation; either an “Absence from the city or town” or an “Absence Because of Religious Observance or Physical Disability” which included COVID. Completely read the appropriate section and print in the name of our town “Litchfield”.  You do not need to fill in the name of a “Ward” as there is only one ward and that encompases all of Litchfield.  Read completely the attestation stating that you certify that you’ve read the instructions and have personally marked the ballot then sign the form and print your name below.  Note that you only have to fill in one section of the affidavit stating you’re either out of town or can’t attend due to a religious observance or disability.  If you have a disability and can not fill in the information on the affidavit, then someone can assist you but they must both sign and print their name below the attestation on the affidavit envelope.  

Once the affidavit forms are completed you must seal your affidavit envelope into the mailing envelope.  Place your name and address onto the mailing envelope’s return address location and either send or hand deliver it to the Litchfield Town Hall or bring it to the polls on election day and drop it off. Please be aware that each absentee ballot must be completed and processed as described above in its own envelope.  Placing several ballots into one mailing envelope must never be done.   If you hand deliver someone else’s absentee ballot, you become under state law a “Delivery Agent” and will most likely have to complete and sign separate forms before the other person’s delivered absentee ballot can be accepted and processed.  

Errors that I’ve encountered or heard of that are found while opening absentee ballots that will cause your ballot to be held for correction include:

  • Failure to fill out or incompletely filling out the affidavit envelope with the required information;
  • Placing the actual ballot inside of the mailing envelope but outside of the affidavit envelope;
  • Placing an actual ballot into the mailing envelope and returning it without the affidavit envelope;
  • Placing multiple affidavit envelopes containing actual ballots into one mailing envelope;
  • Absentee ballots delivered after 5 PM on election day;
  • Affidavit envelopes placed into the mailing envelope of another voter from the same household (i.e. inner information does not match mailing envelope information); 

Should you have any questions or concerns on this topic please do not hesitate to contact me.

Frank A. Byron
Town & School Moderator
fbyron@litchfieldnh.gov

Public Notice | New Way of Voting in Litchfield

Public Notice | New Way of Voting in Litchfield

I wanted to take a few minutes to review with you the changes in the operations of Litchfield’s polls that are a result of new laws as well as the COVID pandemic.  First, I am encouraging everyone to get out and vote for the candidates of your choice.  Our polls will be open at Campbell High School from 7AM to 7PM.  Second, I strongly encourage all Litchfield voters to take advantage of the changes in the laws for using absentee ballots during the September 8th and November 3rd elections.  Overall, using an absentee ballot will be the quickest, easiest and safest means of casting your vote in each of these elections.  Using an absentee ballot doesn’t mean that you must mail the ballot into the town hall.  The law has changed for these two elections giving everyone the ability to simply drop off your completed absentee ballot and affidavit at the polls before 5PM on election day.  If you have an absentee ballot and can’t get it to the polls by 5PM, bring the absentee ballot along with you and we can still get your vote entered by using a normal ballot at the polls.   If you have a disability, remember that COVID concerns are now considered a disability, you can come to the polls on election day and either vote from your vehicle using an absentee ballot and affidavit or drop off your already obtained absentee ballot and affidavit.  Simply call one of the following three numbers (603) 845-6158, (603) 845-6376 or (603) 845-6219 tell them where you are located and someone will meet you to get things processed.  Please stand beside your vehicle if you’re able or watch for a poll worker wearing a fluorescent vest and beep your horn.

For normal voting you will also see some changes.  All voters will now first meet with an outside greeter who will review with you the COVID protection measures in use during the elections.  If you do not have a mask, a surgical mask will be provided for you by this greeter along with hand disinfectant.  If you decide to wear a mask for voting (children under 3 years of age are exempt), you will precede just inside the outer doors where another greeter will provide you with both a disposable pen and a paper place mat.  The pen is yours to keep or throw away at the end of voting while the place mat is to be used under your ballot on the shelf of the voting booth for contamination control and will be thrown away when you exit the polling place.  The inside greeter will then direct you to the right line for obtaining your ballot.   Those of you not wishing to wear a mask, you will be directed by the outside greeter just around the corner of the building to vote at an outside extension of the polling place. 

Our ballot clerks will provide you with a ballot and, only for the primary election, if you are an undeclared voter you will also be given a party affiliation card that you can use to revert back to undeclared by filling in the information and depositing it into a separate box located by the voting machines.  Everyone except those voting outside, will exit by the back door of the gym rather than return to the entry door.  Trash cans to receive your used pens and place mats will be next to the exit doors on your way out..  

As usual, any citizens needing to register to vote will have the opportunity to do so by meeting with the Supervisors of the Checklist either inside if wearing a mask or outside if you chose not to wear a mask.  Those with disabilities may register to vote in their vehicle by calling the phone numbers listed above and making themselves known to the poll worker wearing the vest.

We recognize that this is a significant change to the way we normally vote in Litchfield but due to the new laws and the COVID pandemic, it was my belief that this is the best means of keeping everyone as safe as possible while providing an opportunity to vote.  Please understand that we are all trying to do our best to move everyone through the voting process as rapidly as possible.  We are asking everyone for their patience and understanding.  As you might imagine, the number of people necessary to make this work is significantly more than we would typically use.  I want to personally thank all of the citizens who have volunteered their time to make this effort work. 

If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact me via email at fbyron@litchfieldnh.gov.  

Respectfully,
Frank A. Byron, Town and School Moderator

Public Notice | Absentee Ballots Processing – September 4, 2020

Public Notice | Absentee Ballots Processing – September 4, 2020

Town of Litchfield, New Hampshire
PUBLIC NOTICE

Public notice is hereby given pursuant to the Laws of 2020, Chapter 14 that at 12:00PM on September 4, 2020, at Talent Hall, ​10 Wood Hawk Way, Litchfield, NH 03052, ​the Moderator of the Town of Litchfield New Hampshire shall partially process absentee ballots received prior to September 4, 2020 for the September 8, 2020 New Hampshire State Primary election. Members of the public or political parties wishing to observe this partial processing are invited to attend.

Authorized by Frank A. Byron, Town Moderator

Public Notice | Absentee Ballots – September 8, 2020

Public Notice | Absentee Ballots – September 8, 2020

Town of Litchfield, New Hampshire
Public Notice

Public notice is hereby given pursuant to the Laws of 2020, Chapter 14 that at 08:00AM on September 8, 2020 at the Campbell High School gymnasium, 1 Highlander Court, Litchfield, NH 03052, the Moderator of the Town of Litchfield shall final process all absentee ballots for the New Hampshire State Primary election.

Authorized by Frank A. Byron, Town Moderator

Public Notice | Voting Machine Testing – September 1, 2020

Voting Machine Testing – September 1, 2020

Town of Litchfield
Public Notice

Notice is provided to the public that at 10:00 AM on September 1, 2020 at the Litchfield Town Hall, 2 Liberty Way, Litchfield, NH 03052 voting machines to be used during the 8 September 2020 NH State Primary Election shall be tested and verified for proper operation.  Members of the public who wish to attend must wear masks or observe at a safe distance.

By Authority of:

Theresa  Briand, Town Clerk/Tax Collector, Litchfield, NH

Letter to the Residents regarding the Upcoming Elections

Letter to the Residents regarding the Upcoming Elections

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.

Theresa Briand, Litchfield Town Clerk/Tax Collector – tbriand@litchfieldnh.gov
Frank Byron, Town & School Moderator –  fbyron@litchfieldnh.gov