Help America Vote Act: Overcoming Accessible Voting System Challenges

By Julia Freeman-Woolpert

For Carol Holmes of Derry, the first time she voted independently was a thrill. She lost her sight at age 13 and had always voted with the help of someone else. When the State of New Hampshire adopted technology to mark and cast a ballot using a phone and fax system, making voting accessible for those with vision or print disabilities, Holmes finally had her chance.

Troubleshooting on Election Day

An election is a complex event. Election officials spend a lot of time each year learning election laws and preparing for the election so that it will run smoothly. There are always a few questions, however. These are some of the more common questions that arise among our members each year.

Q. Who is in charge of elections?

Exercising a Public Trust: Voting

“Your every voter, as surely as your Chief Magistrate, under the same high sanction, though in a different sphere, exercises a public trust." So observed Grover Cleveland, the 22nd President of the United States, in his first inaugural address in 1885. Here in New Hampshire, citizens take elections and voting very seriously. For nearly 90 years, New Hampshire voters have participated in the first-in-the-nation Presidential primary—a tradition that is fiercely guarded.

Town Elections Are Over, But Is There a Vacancy?

Q. What if no one filed to run for an elected office, or someone declines to serve after being elected? How is the position filled?

After Town Meeting, It’s Time for Municipal Boards to Reorganize

After election ballots have been counted and the town meeting “dust" has settled, the various municipal boards, commissions and committees should reorganize and prepare for another year of activity. New members should be sworn in, a chairperson should be selected and any vacancies should be filled.

Local Officials Prepare for Election Season

The election season is underway, and, inevitably, numerous questions arise. Moreover, the legislature has recently amended a number of election laws. The following are a few brief reminders and a summary of selected statutory amendments.

Supervisors of the Checklist Gear Up for Election Season

The supervisors of the checklist perform an important function within the towns and cities they serve. With careful consideration of each voter registration form that is submitted to them, allowing only those who are qualified to vote onto the checklist, the supervisors help to assure the integrity of the election process in our municipalities.

Community Spotlight: Election Poll Shadowing–Bringing the Voting Booth into the Classroom

Over the years, many people have tried to make our educational system more realistic and in tune with the “real world." One of the complaints voiced by students and adults alike is that classroom learning cannot be translated into the daily lives of ordinary citizens. The Town of New Ipswich was fortunate enough to have a progressive and creative thinker as their town moderator, who was able to not only bridge this gap but also allow students to have their first taste of the democratic process.

A Successful Town Meeting Requires Preparation

Most municipalities in New Hampshire meet annually and govern themselves through the traditional town meeting. The meeting is the “legislative body" of the town, and performs the important tasks of appropriating funds in the operating budget, and considering “special" warrant articles for projects that may be the culmination of months or years of preparation by interested citizens or other stakeholders.

Town Clerks: What do they do—and do they have a boss?

The duties and responsibilities of a town clerk are numerous and varied. There is no one place in the statutes to find a list of the duties for this position; rather, the duties can be found throughout many statutes such as motor vehicle laws, election laws, vital statistics, planning and land use laws, libraries and the budget law. This article will review some of those duties and responsibilities of the town clerk as well as oversight of the position.