News & Views
Photo of Sandwich Village by Joe Janis
Editor's note: This letter was posted on August 7. The Town Clerk wants everyone to be aware that the State's requirements are subject to change. You can always check with her if you have any questions. Phone number below.
Holding an Election in the Midst of a Pandemic
Holding an election in the midst of a pandemic offers a series of challenges to those of us charged with overseeing these events. It is important that everyone who wants to has the opportunity to cast their ballot while also considering the health and welfare of poll workers and voters. Twice in the next few months, on September 8th for the State Primary Election and then on November 3rd for the General Election for all Federal and State offices, the Town will face the difficulty of balancing these important goals. This year’s elections will look and move a little differently than in the past and we would like to offer our vision of how it will work.
First and foremost, we encourage all voters to vote by absentee ballot. This will afford the most protection for voters and poll workers. The Secretary of State has added, temporarily, the concern of a voter for potential health risks to the allowable reasons to cast an absentee ballot. The form for requesting an absentee ballot is available on the Town Clerk’s section of the Town website. The form is also available at the back entrance to Town Hall. For more information on this you can call the Town Clerk’s office at 603-284-7113.
For the Primary Election in September you will receive a Republican or Democratic ballot depending on which party you are registered with. Undeclared voters may request either ballot but must re-declare as Undeclared or you will be registered to whichever party you requested a ballot for. The form for re-enrolling as Undeclared will be included in your absentee ballot mailing if you request to vote absentee. You must return it along with your completed ballot.
If you choose not to vote by absentee ballot be advised face masks will be REQUIRED to enter the Town Hall to vote. Face masks will be available for those who forgot to bring one. Six foot social distancing will be enforced. Due to the confined space of the elevator to the second floor it will not be used for the elections. Provisions will be made in the parking lot for an area for those physically unable to climb the stairs or for voters who feel unable to wear face masks. If you fall into either of those categories please vote by absentee ballot.
Respectfully, James Mykland, Sandwich Town Moderator
Alison Gage, Sandwich Town Clerk/Tax Collector, 603-284-7113
Town of Sandwich, 8 Maple Street PO Box 194, Sandwich, NH 03227
The experience of one Sandwich voter:
Thank you, Alison, Town Clerk. Rudy and I applied for both ballots on a single application. We mailed those applications in to you. You and Lois checked that we are Sandwich residents, registered voters, real people. Then you mailed us our September 6 ballots. We filled out the ballots. Each of us put our ballot in a special envelope that we sealed and then we signed our names on the outside. Then we inserted this envelope in a larger mailing envelope. Then we mailed it to Town Hall. Lois tells me that the ballots will be held in their sealed envelopes until election day. But every ballot is registered as it comes to Town Hall with the Secretary of State. We can even track our ballot online. No chance of losing it. A safe and careful system is guarding our most precious democratic right. No need to go to Town Hall on election day where election workers might be exposed to someone with Covid-19. We know every vote will be counted that night by our team of Town officials and volunteer registrars. Thanks for protecting democracy!
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