It's a scary time to vote in New Hampshire due to the presence of the coronavirus and Covid 19. Municipalities are only now starting to grapple with what changes will be necessary to maintain social distancing, sanitized surfaces, logistics of getting people in and out of the building, and keeping poll workers safe, many of whom are over 60 years old.
Fortunately, New Hampshire's Secretary of State has made temporary accommodations for any voter with Covid 19 concerns to be able to vote with an absentee ballot rather than in person.
This accommodation is effective for any municipal, state or federal election in 2020, the two biggest being the September 8, 2020 state primary for Governor, Executive Council, Senate, and State Representative, and the November 3, 2020 general election for those positions, U.S. Senate and President of the United States.
If you are ready to request your absentee ballot applications, go to your town's website or use the links below and download from the NH Secretary of State website.
Choose which form (updated 7/19/2020 with the COVID-19 Checkbox) you'd like to use:
Fill out by hand/sign by hand: Absentee Ballot Application from the NH Secretary of State
Fill out by computer/sign by hand: Type-in Absentee Ballot Application from the NH Secretary of State
This web guide will give you both the rules for requesting and filling out the absentee ballot request form, as well as filling out and returning the absentee ballot itself.
Thank you for protecting yourself and our poll workers!
Now that you've done something for YOU, will you help do something for OTHERS?
Print our poster (PDF), and hang copies in public places in your town
Post our social media pictures & messages about voting by absentee
Become a community resource and spread the word by particpating in our "Ask Me About Absentee" program. Email Brian Beihl for more info.
Thank You from
the staff and volunteers
of Open Democracy
Vote-by-mail absentee ballots have been used in New Hampshire since 1775, and 7-10% of ballots cast in NH elections are by absentee ballot. Absentee ballots are traditionally used when the voter will be out of state or far away from their town, on religious holidays, and other reasons specified below. There are two applications, one for town elections, and another for state and federal elections. For any questions specific to your town, your city or town clerk is the primary election officials dealing with absentee ballots.
Those issues which pertain specifically to absentee voting during the Covid 19 pandemic are listed in dark red, below.
Voting by Absentee Ballot in NH - Normal Circumstances
- Physical disability (and for 2020, concern with COVID-19)
- Religious observance
- Absence from City on day of election
- Employment obligations. For the purpose of absentee voting, the term "employment" shall include the care of children and infirm adults, with or without compensation.