COVID -19 Precautionary Measures for Town Meeting 2022 – An FAQ

Municipal Election Officials are again facing the management of public health concerns due to the lingering pandemic when scheduling and conducting town meeting.  With this FAQ we wanted to highlight key suggestions taken from the Universal Best Practices publication from the State of New Hampshire, and then provide guidance on measures municipalities can implement to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and its variants at business meetings, deliberati

Vote Counting: 1990’s or 2020’s Technology

Automobiles and vote-counting machines have one thing in common. They are critical pieces of equipment that need more care and attention as they age. And yet, while few of us drive 30-year-old cars on essential trips, many of us rely on 30-year-old technology to count votes.

Legal Q&A: Be Aware of Traps at Town Meeting

You've reviewed the calendar, looked at the warrant, and booked the room. Notices are ready to post, the budget is almost ready, and everyone is gearing up for what promises to be a great annual meeting. We hope that it is! However, even the most experienced local officials miss something now and then. Here are a few traps of which to beware, both golden oldies and new ones.

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.

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.

Legislative Changes Affect New Hampshire Election Law

As autumn arrives, so does election season. This is a good time for municipal officials to become familiar with some of the recent changes to New Hampshire laws that will affect this year’s federal, state and local elections. All of the changes discussed in this article took effect on or before September 1, 2006.

Counting Votes: What Counts?

One of the purposes of a democratic government is to instill law-making power in the people rather than grant authority to one or two individuals. The small size of many local governing bodies may at times run counter to this basic principle of democracy. Planning boards may have between five and nine members, depending on the form of local government. The Board of Selectmen has just three or five members. Conflicts of interest, member absenteeism and abstentions all increase the likelihood that decisions by local boards and commissions may be made by a small minority of the members.