Open Democracy, Kent Street Coalition, and Granite State Progress are hosting a "Map-a-Thon" on Tuesday, May 18 from 6-8 p.m. to learn more about the software and the process, and begin having input on fair maps.
We're assembling a team of citizens called Live Free, Map Fair who want to create fair maps to show the NH public what fair maps ACTUALLY LOOK LIKE! Called the Live Free, Map Fair project, we need both technical and policy volunteers to hash out our fair maps, then get them into the hands of policy members and the press.
After the Map-a-Thon, and seeing first-hand how the process is done, you can:
- Volunteer as a technical member of the Live Free, Map Fair Team using your knowledge of spreadsheets, databases, geography, GIS software and other tech tools to help draw our maps, or
- Volunteer as a policy member of the Live Free, Map Fair Team helping to identify communities of interest, conduct a Community of Interest Survey, and negotiate some of the compromises and challenges we'll face due to geography, communities of interest, and other factors.
Our maps will be distributed to legislators, town officials, the press, and to the Special Committee on Redistricting itself to draw a comparison with the unfortunately less-than-fair maps we expect from the Special Committee on Redistricting.
Be a part of the process that will change New Hampshire's voting maps for the better! Sign up for the Map-a-Thon below!
We need you to contact your Nashua Aldermen and Alderwomen about the passing Nashua's version of the NH Resolution for Fair Nonpartisan Redistricting.
Here is a link to a PDF of the resolution being proposed by Alderwoman Jan Schmidt: Nashua Resolution Our thanks to Alderwoman Schmidt for bringing this forward.
Speak or Submit Written Testimony
Two meeting dates are coming up, if you wish to attend or speak to support the resolution. It appears that Nashua does TV broadcasts of the meetings, but not Zoom or online interactive access.
Monday, April 5, 2021, 7 p.m.: Speak, or submit written testimony, to June M. Caron, Chair, Personnel/Administrative Affairs Committee (If you wish to speak the mic will be open after the opening (best time) and at closing (still fine)
Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 7:30 p.m.: Comes before the full Board of Aldermen, speak or submit written testimony to Donna L. Graham, Legislative Affairs Manager. (Best time to speak is at the beginning)
Send an Email to Committee Members
Here is sample language for your email, but please use this as a guide and make the email authentically from you. We suggest you email your alderman/woman, plus the members of the Personnel/Administrative Affairs Committee.
Dear Alderman/woman _____________:
I just heard that the Board of Alderman will be hearing a resolution supporting fair nonpartisan and transparent redistricting. Versions of the NH Resolution for Fair Nonpartisan Redistricting have now passed in 44 towns, including the cities of Lebanon, Keene, Franklin, Dover and Durham.
I think this is important because even though the City of Nashua does fair ward districts, the state's track record for fair voting maps isn't as commendable. There seems to be something about going to serve in Concord that makes our leaders sometimes forget that they work for the people, not the parties. I'm one voter who thinks that we need a level playing field for this, so that voters can vote and know that the system isn't rigged for one party or the other.
Please commit the City of Nashua to drawing its own fair districts, and make sure our state legislators and the Special Committee on Redistricting are put on notice, too.
Thank you for your service to our city!
Other talking points:
- This is a NONPARTISAN resolution that has passed in Red towns and Blue towns
- Partisan data should not be used to manipulate the voting maps
- When voting districts are manipulated, the voters don't get the representation that they should for their area
- Voters in gerrymandered districts get frustrated and apathetic, and give up on voting, because it doesn't matter
- Voting districts should be compact, have "communities of interest" like school districts, neighborhoods, or economies
- Some of our elected officials say there isn't any gerrymandering, but not all gerrymandering has squiggly lines! Look at Hudson, 24,000 population & Pelham, 13,000 population, combined in one district, but each should have its own representatives.
- All the voters want -- of any party or independent -- is a fair, nonpartisan and transparent process.
Nashua Board of Aldermen, as of March 2021
* = Members of the Personnel/Administrative Affairs Committee, where Nashua's Resolution for Fair Nonpartisan Redistricting will be heard.
*JUNE M. CARON, Ward 7, [email protected]
*BEN CLEMONS , Alderman at Large, [email protected]
RICHARD A. DOWD , Ward 2, [email protected]
LINDA HARRIOTT-GATHRIGHT, Ward 9, [email protected]
ELIZABETH LU, Ward 6, [email protected]
ERNEST A. JETTE , Ward 5, [email protected]V
*SHOSHANNA KELLY , Alderwoman at Large, [email protected]
PATRICIA KLEE, Ward 3, [email protected]
BRANDON MICHAEL LAWS, Alderman at Large, [email protected]
*THOMAS LOPEZ , Ward 4, [email protected]
MICHAEL B. O'BRIEN, SR , VP Board of Aldermen, [email protected]
*SKIP CLEAVER , Ward 8, [email protected]
JAN SCHMIDT , Ward 1, [email protected] ****Sponsor of the NH Resolution for Fair Nonpartisan Redistricting****
DAVID C. TENCZA , Alderman at Large, [email protected]
LORI WILSHIRE, President, Board of Aldermen, [email protected]
Our speakers and organizers have prepared additional materials for you if you'd like to explore our topics on redistricting and gerrymandering in more detail:
|Welcome & Program Notes||Olivia Zink, Executive Director, Open Democracy||Louise Spencer, co-founder, Kent Street Coalition|
|Keynote Message||Ellen Freiden, Fair Districts Florida, on the successful constitutional amendment for an Independent Redistricting Commission||
YouTube of Ellen Freidin's TEDX talk: https://youtu.be/ka1RkguwSqs
|Basics of Redistricting and the National Landscape||
Kyri Claflin, member, Kent Street Coalition, short video by Vox, "The Man Who Rigged America's Election Maps."
"The man who rigged America’s election maps” —
Graphic of types of redistricting
|The history of redistricting in NH, what happened in 2011, the NH Supreme Court, and the U.S. Supreme Court||Liz Tentarelli, President, League of Women Voters - NH||Former NH Senator Sylvia Larson, Rep. Lucy Weber, Rep. Ned Gordon|
|The Special Committee on Redistricting: What it does, its Politics, and the criteria that will be used||
Liz Tentarelli, President, League of Women Voters - NH
Members of the 2011 or 2021 Special Committee on Redistricting Member of both 2011 & 2021 SCR, Rep. Lucy Weber, and
Redistricting Criteria from National Conference of State Legislatures
Redistricting Criteria from the Brennan Center
|The technology of redistricting||Moon Duchin, or a member of the Tufts Univ. MGGG Redistricting Lab||Districtr.org|
Messaging strategies & proposed tactics: The words matter!
Talking points: Partisan Redistricting vs. Gerrymandering; Towns without House Rep districts.
Transparency, fair elections, so public and municipal officials have input into the districts.
Brian Beihl, Deputy Director, Open Democracy Action
Zandra Rice Hawkins, Executive Director, Granite State Progress
Louise Spencer, co-founder, Kent Street Coalition
Get involved in a working group or team!
April 29, LWV National Day of Action
Support the NH Resolution for Fair Nonpartisan Redistricting
Getting your own state rep district
Contacting the Special Committee on Redistricting
Write a personal letter/email to your state rep to support fair redistricting
Brian Beihl, Deputy Director, Open Democracy Action explaining the Action Page.
Liz Tentarelli, President, League of Women Voters - NH: National Day of Action on April 29
Louise Spencer, co-founder, Kent Street Coalition, on getting involved in actions, and the importance of working locally, but also being connected.
|Wrap up and Thanks!||Olivia Zink, Executive Director, Open Democracy,||Louise Spencer, co-founder, Kent Street Coalition|
NH's Reputation as a Leader in Fair Elections May Be in Jeopardy - New Hampshire is fortunate to have higher than average civic engagement. Our state leaders often point to our status as the first-in-the-nation Presidential primary and our well-run elections as proof of the Granite State's exceptional civic involvement. In March 2021, Governor Sununu recently called New Hampshire "the gold standard" for its electoral system.
Recently, though, proposed laws creating deliberate barriers to voting in New Hampshire have tarnished its national reputation. National press reports now include New Hampshire in the same breath as Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina and other states known for their anti-voting bills targeting people of color, students and younger voters, the disabled, elders and other groups.
NH Needs an Educated, Civically-Engaged Workforce - Businesses and organizations large and small depend on an educated, civically-engaged workforce. In the 2011 U.S. Census, NH ranked as the 9th oldest state in the nation, and is again experiencing acute workforce shortages. The State of New Hampshire has recognized this, and supported programs like Stay, Work, Play NH to retain younger workers. We have excellent colleges, an amazing array of recreational activities, and cutting edge employers looking for employees.
Problem is, should New Hampshire's reputation slip further due to implementation of additional deliberate barriers to voting, students, younger workers, talent being recruited from out of state, and even companies considering expanding here may think long and hard before making a commitment.
Legislators Must Hear that Businesses Support a Healthy Democracy - Below is "Statement of Principles to Support New Hampshire's Democracy." We're asking your organization to consider signing on to these principles, which we will communicate to the whole of the New Hampshire legislature and executive branch.
We stand by to answer your questions about the Statement of Principles, or our nonpartisan, pro-voter organization, or to hear your suggestions and comments.
The Coalition for Open Democracy, a New Hampshire 501c3 nonpartisan, nonprofit organization which works on pro-voter democracy reforms.
Statement of Principles
by New Hampshire Businesses and Organizations which support a healthy democracy
I. We believe that a NH government of, by, and for its citizens must safeguard the precious freedom to vote for ALL of its eligible citizens.
II. For the NH Government to truly represent its citizens, it must guarantee universally accessible and secure voting, and ensure there are no existing or future barriers to exercise that right.
III. We will not support, with our contributions or our votes, any candidates or elected representatives who initiate, vote for, or support laws that make voting more difficult for NH citizens. Nor shall we support those who oppose laws to make the voting process more efficient.
IV. Just as true prosperity in NH requires that all businesses play on a level playing field, we must have a level playing field for our elections and politics. Our NH voting districts must be based on valid census information and be free of manipulation by partisan voting data, and to ensure this, the redistricting process must be public, and its methods disclosed.
V. Together, we believe that when the electoral system is fair, and the constitutional rights and values of our citizens are honored, our NH Government will truly be “of the people," our economy will be prosperous, and both will work for the greater good of all.
This statement and its signers will be communicated to
The Governor, the Executive Council, the NH Senate and House, and the NH Secretary of State
Hundreds of brave men and women marched for their freedom to vote in Selma -- and were brutally attacked for doing it. We're asking for just a few minutes to take some simple yet powerful actions that can help in the fight for voting rights, both around the country and right here in New Hampshire.
Action #1 - Urgent - Oppose Voter Suppression Bills
By tomorrow, Monday, March 8, 8:30 AM - Register your Opposition to these anti-voting rights bills being heard in NH House Election Law TOMORROW. These include efforts to end same-day registration, which disproportionately affects lower-income voters, students, and communities of color. It takes about 90 seconds per bill once you get the hang of it.
9:30 a.m. HB 429 requires students to prove they have registered to vote in NH to obtain in-state tuition rates. But then it removes college IDs as a form of identification to qualify under the Secretary of State’s guidance on student voting. Open Democracy Action opposes this bill
9:45 a.m. HB 362 repeals current “domicile” definitions for students voting in New Hampshire, in a direct assault on student access to the polls in New Hampshire. Open Democracy Action opposes this bill
10:15 a.m. HB 554 also attempts to define domicile as it pertains to temporary residents, specifying students, particularly those who have domicile in the state, but are away for the pandemic. “A student of any institution of learning may lawfully claim domicile for voting purposes in the New Hampshire town or city in which he or she [lives] maintains a physical presence while attending such institution of learning if such student's claim of domicile otherwise meets the requirements of RSA 654:1, I. “ Open Democracy Action opposes this bill
10:30 a.m. HB 531-FN-L ends the current same-day registration practice of allowing a voter to sign an sworn affidavit, subject to providing documents such as a ID, citizenship or proof of domicile within 30 days of voting and being subject to investigation by the NH Attorney General. In those cases, the voter is allowed to vote. HB 531 instead allows the voter only to cast a “provisional” ballot, where the voter must return on election day with adequate documentation, or the vote will not be counted. The number of voters who use the current affidavit is very low statewide, and does not justify disenfranchising someone whose birth certificate is at mom & dad’s in California. Open Democracy Action opposes this bill
11:00 a.m. HB 535 repeals the qualified voter affidavit, which would prohibit voters without the necessary domicile, citizenship or identification documents from voting. Currently voters without documentation that election officials consider to be qualified voters can fill out an affidavit, then vote as normal, but with the understanding that they will have to produce the necessary documents within 30 days. Open Democracy Action opposes this bill
Action #2 - Write a postal mail Thank You note to your members of Congress
Both Reps. Kuster and Pappas were co-sponsors of House Resolution 1, the For the People Act, as were all but one Democrat, and voted last Wednesday when the bill passed in the U.S. House. Please thank them for their support of H.R. 1, and express your support for H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act which will come before them later this year. H.R. 1 cracks down on voter suppression tactics being perpetrated around the United States. (See details below in Action #3) H.R. 1 has dozens and dozens of other important democracy reforms as well, including voting as a national holiday, efforts to get money out of politics, and online voter registration. H.R. 4 restores the Voting Rights Act, repealed in 2013. This will help protect the voting rights being attacked by over 250 bills trying to deliberately put up barriers to our voting freedoms, particularly for voters of color.
U.S. Representative Annie Kuster
18 North Main Street
Concord, NH 03301
U.S. Representative Chris Pappas
Action #3 - Write to your U.S. Senators to support S. 1 & H.R. 4
Senate Bill 1, or S. 1, is the Senate's version of H.R. 1. Write a postal letter to Sens. Hassan and Shaheen asking for their support on S.1 when it comes before the Senate in April, and tell your story about why S. 1 would help NH's voter.
Manchester, NH 03101
Senator Jeanne Shaheen
2 Wall Street, Suite 220
Manchester, NH 03101
S. 1 & H.R. 1:
Improve Access – H.R. 1 expands access to the ballot box by taking aim at institutional barriers to voting, including cumbersome voter registration systems, disenfranchisement and limited voting hours. H.R. 1 will create automatic voter registration across the country, ensure that individuals who have completed felony sentences have their full voting rights restored, expand early voting and enhance absentee voting, simplify voting by mail, reduce long lines and wait times for voters and modernize America’s voting system.
Promote Integrity – H.R. 1 commits Congress to build the record necessary to restore the Voting Rights Act, as embodied by the House-passed H.R. 4. It also commits Congress to deliver full congressional voting rights and self-government for the residents of the District of Columbia, which only statehood can provide, prohibits voter roll purges like those seen in Ohio, Georgia and elsewhere and ends partisan gerrymandering to prevent politicians from picking their voters.
Ensure Security – H.R. 1 ensures that American elections are decided by American voters, without interference, by enhancing federal support for voting system security, particularly with paper ballots and also by increasing oversight of election system vendors and by requiring the development of a national strategy to protect U.S. democratic institutions.
END THE DOMINANCE OF BIG MONEY IN OUR POLITICS
Guarantee Disclosure – H.R. 1 shines a light on dark money in politics by upgrading online political ad disclosure and requiring all organizations involved in political activity to disclose their large donors. H.R. 1 also breaks the so-called ‘nesting-doll’ sham that allows big-money contributors and special interests to hide the true funding source of their political spending.
Empower Citizens – H.R. 1 strengthens the political power of hardworking Americans by creating a multiple matching system for small donations. This innovative, 21st-century system of citizen-owned elections will break the stranglehold of special interests on Congress and lay the groundwork for an agenda that meets the needs of the American people. The voluntary multiple matching system will be completely paid for by a new surcharge on corporate law breakers and wealthy tax cheats. That way, the individuals and corporations who break the public trust – like Wells Fargo, which created fake bank accounts for unwitting customers, or Volkswagen, which lied about harmful carbon emissions from its vehicles, or Facebook, which violates Americans’ privacy, or Purdue Pharma, which fueled the opioid crisis – bear the cost of building a more just and equitable democracy. H.R. 1 also reaffirms Congress’ authority to regulate money in politics, pushing back on the Supreme Court’s wrong-headed Citizens United decision.
Strengthen Oversight – H.R. 1 ensures that there are cops on the campaign finance beat that will enforce the laws on the books. H.R. 1 tightens rules on super PACs and restructures the Federal Election Commission to break the gridlock and enhance its enforcement mechanisms. It also repeals Mitch McConnell’s riders that prevent government agencies from requiring commonsense disclosure of political spending.
ENSURE PUBLIC SERVANTS WORK FOR THE PUBLIC INTEREST
Fortify Ethics Law – H.R. 1 breaks the influence economy in Washington and increases accountability by expanding conflict of interest law and divestment requirements, slowing the revolving door, preventing Members of Congress from serving on corporate boards and requiring presidents to disclose their tax returns.
- Impose Greater Ethics Enforcement – H.R. 1 gives teeth to federal ethics oversight by overhauling the Office of Government Ethics, closing loopholes for lobbyists and foreign agents, ensuring watchdogs have sufficient resources to enforce the law and creating a code of ethics for the Supreme Court.
If you would like to view the full Bloody Sunday in Selma event, you may do so on our YouTube page.
Thank you for visiting to learn more about New Hampshire's redistricting process, and the NH Resolution for Fair Nonpartisan Redistricting.
The Basics of Redistricting & Gerrymandering
In short, redistricting is an every-ten-year process that takes the U.S. Census data, and reapportions the population into more-or-less equal voting districts for state elected positions like the Executive Council, State Senate, and State House. It also includes the two U.S. House of Representatives seats for NH, as well as for county commissioner.
By current state law, the NH House is responsible for most of the redistricting, with the NH Senate doing the Congressional districts. The process is supposed to be fair, nonpartisan, and transparent to the public. Fair voting districts are geographic areas of close to equal population. Voters in those districts should have something in common, such as a school district, perhaps a lake, or a common economy. Our legislature appoints a "special committee" which reflects the percentage of legislators that each party got elected. That committee draws the voting maps, has public hearings and submits them to the full legislature for a vote.
Voting maps should NOT be drawn on the basis or race, religion, ethnicity or political party, or between areas which have nothing in common, or perhaps competing interests. When maps are drawn using this data are often are manipulated to cheat, and control the outcome of elections for the party in charge at the time. The graphic at right shows how this is done, called "gerrymandering."
What Happened in 2011
In 2011, a legislature hostile to fair, nonpartisan redistricting drafted new voting districts which gerrymandered dozens of NH towns, as detailed in the articles below. The Special Committee had no real part in the process; the maps were in fact drawn by a small group of legislators out of the sight of the public, using a software that was kept hidden from the public and even Democratic members of the committee. When public hearings were held around the state, there were no maps shown to the public or most state legislators. When state rep district maps were finally available, the NH House had only one week to review them, and the public only had 24 hours! There was little transparency in the process.
- Concord Monitor, Dec. 15, 2011: Politics-Election Redistricting plan unveiled
- New Hampshire Public Radio, June 7, 2017: How Gerrymandering Skewed the 2016 Elections
- NH Union Leader- Coming soon
- NH Supreme Court: Brief by NH Senator David Pierce
- League of Women Voters in the NH Union Leader: NH Voices: Liz Tentarelli -- Learning from the past
Gerrymandering Could Get Worse in 2021
In 2021, there's a very good chance that this gerrymandering could get worse, not better, unless voters speak up and make sure that legislators know that the voters demand a FAIR, NONPARTISAN and TRANSPARENT process. Without the proposed permanent solution of an "independent redistricting commission," which passed the legislature with bipartisan votes but was vetoed twice, we again are depending on the good consciences of our state legislators.
Passing the NH Resolution for Fair Nonpartisan Redistricting
While we would prefer to push for a permanent independent redistricting commission, that is unlikely to happen in time for the 2021 redistricting. So instead we are passing the NH Resolution for Fair, Nonpartisan Redistricting in as many towns as possible.
Between Dec 2020 and early February 2021, volunteers working with Open Democracy and other organizations around the state will be proposing "petitioned warrant articles" in 100 town-meeting & SB 2 towns around the state. In cities, volunteers will be working with city councils and boards of aldermen. In both types of government, we will be asking for a non-binding resolution to be sent to our state elected officials. We're asking a town's voters to:
- Demand fairness and transparency in the process of drawing new maps
- Require that maps be drawn with no favoritism to one party or the other
- Make sure that the mapping process happens in public meetings
- That towns of 3300 citizens or larger be given their own state representative districts, rather than being split with other towns.
- And that the board of selectmen from that town communicate in writing the wishes of the town to the State and Federal delegations.
We have more details on our Town Meeting "How-To" page, or if you live in a city or a town with a town council, our Council Resolution page, but this initiative is designed to use our local town warrants to inform local voters on the evils of gerrymandering, and pressure our legislature to put party politics aside and create nonpartisan voting districts for state representative, NH senator, executive council, and U.S. Congress. The voters want fairness, but politicians want power. As a voter, it should be YOU calling the shots!
If you have further questions about the NH Resolution for Fair Nonpartisan Redistricting in your town, or want to pass a resolution in your town, contact Open Democracy's deputy director, Brian Beihl, for more information.Sign up
Nonpartisan Open Democracy works to keep elections FAIR for all, and to and allow all eligible voters to exercise their RIGHT to vote. This year, our work is more important than ever.
In the last two weeks before the 2020 election, we are mobilizing our Regional Democracy Teams, volunteers from Protect the Vote, and Open Democracy supporters to form an Election Protection Task Force to observe the election in and around their home towns.
This Sunday night, Oct. 18, 7 p.m. via Zoom and phone, we are holding an information session and training for all interested citizens to help protect the vote. We ask that you sign up in advance for what we expect to be a 60 to 90 minute discussion and training.
Below are the roles in the task force, both from home and at local in-person locations. When you register for the meeting, please tell us what role, or roles, fit your schedule and situation best.
- Pre-Election Checklist/Absentee Pre-Processing Monitors - (Inide, in person, your local town hall) Final Supervisors of the Checklist meetings are required 6-13 days prior to the election and decisions and voters can use that opportunity to register. Then beginning the Thursday before election day, pre-processing of absentee ballots begins. In both these cases, your job is to listen and observe, making sure everyone follows the rules. Recently, a person's registration was briefly rejected due an Arabic-sounding name, despite having all of the proper voting documentation.
- Pre-Election/Election Day Media Monitors - (from home) Monitoring news media and social media for misinformation and disinformation, and amplifying positive posts (in-home activity). We need citizens to monitor their local newspapers and radio for mistakes on voting information, and monitor local Facebook and other social media groups to identify errors and report any disinformation intended to suppress the vote. We are teamed up with Common Cause to evaluate and report this information.
- Election Day Roaming monitors - (Outdoors, In person, towns around you) You'll be traveling around to several towns to monitor outside the polls activities, talking with voters and visibility folks outside the polls. Looking for voter suppression/intimidation issues, logistical issues, and reporting to the SOS, AG or other authorities as necessary.
- Election Day Poll Observers - (Inside, in person, your town's polls) Stationed inside the polls, looking for voter suppression, violations of mask policies, inconsistent or incorrect rules, or disenfranchising of voters.
If you haven't been able to participate in the Regional Democracy Teams, this is an excellent, short-term action that is SO VERY IMPORTANT to the integrity of our election.
Below, tell us in which Election Protection Task Force role you'd be interested, using the job descriptions above.
After saving your choice, a confirmation email will come with training links and resources to prepare you for helping.
We'll be in touch shortly via our "Protect the Vote" Google Group
When you're done, you'll be sent to our Election Protection Task Force training and tools page
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.
What better way to be involved in the integrity of our electoral system than becoming an election official in your community! These positions range from a Supervisor of the Checklist, which require a day-long commitment on election day and town meeting, and occasional preparatory meetings throughout the rest of the year, to Town or City Clerk, which are often part time or full time paid positions. Please NOTE this might be different in your town or city.
Local Election Official Job Descriptions
Supervisor of the Checklist
- Determine if an applicant is legally qualified to vote,
- Update the Checklist of registered voters with new voter registrations and any status changes,
- Maintain and update the voter files,
- Attend periodic training sessions held in Concord,
- Hold periodic mandatory supervisor sessions and post notices in advance, and
- Educate voters about any changes to voting procedure or law. On Election Day, supervisors are to be present before, during and after elections to set up, register voters, facilitate party changes, do data entry, and tally numbers required by the Secy. of State’s Office. Following an election, supervisors enter any new voter applications and status changes into the database and scan checklists to record voter history.
● City Clerks are appointed by City Council and are typically paid positions
● The mission of the City Clerk's Office is to efficiently meet all statutory obligations with respect to elections, vital records, and City Council.
● The City Clerk's Office is responsible for the preservation and management of all vital events occurring within the city. Those vital events include births, marriages, and deaths. In addition to vital records, the office records all official documents of the city.
● The office conducts and preserves the integrity of all local, state, and federal elections.
● The office is responsible for the preparation of all City Council agendas, minutes, and official
● All Town Clerks are Elected for a one year or three year term, depending upon which option the town voted to enact, and must live within the town in which they serve. These are typically paid positions.
● The Town Clerk appoints the Deputy Town Clerk and the appointment is subject to approval of the Selectmen.
● The Deputy Town Clerk must also be a resident of the town and able to perform all the duties of the Town Clerk
● The Town Clerk is the chief election official, is responsible for keeping all town records, certifying actions of the Selectmen and other town officials, making official reports, collecting fees, carrying out specific mandated laws and many other municipal related duties.
Supervisors of the Checklist
Three Supervisors of the Checklist are elected with staggered terms of six years to serve the voters.
● Duties include:
○ Determining if an applicant is legally qualified to vote,
○ Updating the Checklist of registered voters with new voter registrations and any status changes
○ Maintaining and updating the voter files
○ Attending periodic training sessions held in Concord
○ Holding periodic mandatory supervisor sessions and post notices in advance, and
○ Educating voters about any changes to voting procedure or law.
● On Election Day, supervisors are to be present before, during and after elections to set up, register voters, facilitate party changes, do data entry, and tally numbers required by the Secy. of State’s Office.
● Following an election, supervisors enter any new voter applications and status changes into the database and scan checklists to record voter history.
● Elected for a two year term at the annual meeting, in towns every even numbered year, in cities every other regular city election.
● The moderator is the chief election officer in charge of the polls at the ward level.
● The moderator is under the direction of the city clerk who is the city’s chief election officer.
● It is the responsibility of the moderator to make certain that all the election officers are available on the day of the election and that each is familiar with their respective duties for the day.
● The moderator is required to have the polling place open and ready to accept voters at the prescribed time
● During the election day, the moderator is charged with maintaining order at the polling place and ensuring that proper documentation is posted
● In towns, moderators also run the town meeting. They stand at the front of the room, welcome voters, and explain meeting protocols
• Town Selectman: Elected for a three year term at the annual meeting.
• Ward Selectmen: Elected for two-year terms at the biennial municipal election, every odd-numbered year.
• There are three elected selectmen per ward.
• The selectmen may be responsible for choosing the polling place. They report directly to the moderator.
• Their primary duty is to maintain the checklist and to aid the voters in the election process.
• They must be signatories on warrants and most of the election reports and are, therefore, responsible for the proper counting of the election results (including tallies and absentee counting) and providing the Ward or Town Clerk with their results.
• They are responsible for the orderly flow of voters through the polling place and to ensure that the
polls are open and functioning properly.
• They are also responsible for making appointments of ballot inspectors if the two major parties fail
to appoint within the required timeframe.
• Elected for a two-year term at the biennial municipal election, every odd-numbered year.
• The ward clerk reports to the moderator.
• The primary duty of the clerk shall be to administer and prepare the documentation required at the polling place. This includes not only the election return and tally sheets and associated reports, but will also include such documentation as poll workers time sheets, payroll records, W-4 forms, etc.
• The ward clerk must pick up the ward supplies and documentation package at the city clerk’s office before reporting to the polling place.
• The ward clerk shall also aid any voters who may need assistance in the polling area. The clerk will assist the moderator in the course of managing the polling place.
• Other duties require the clerk, at the direction of the city clerk and the Secretary of State, to require the selectmen to sign and post warrants announcing the upcoming election.
Ballot Inspector/ Ballot Clerk
Ballot Inspectors (also known as Ballot Clerks) are community members just like you interested in maintaining the integrity of our elections. As a Ballot Inspector, you would serve in one of the many roles needed at the polls - marking the checklist, handing out ballots, helping voters in need at the ballot booths, receiving ballots at the box, and more. These positions are two year terms, serve for all state and local elections, and come with a small monetary stipend for your service.