Voters line up at Hopkinton, NH, drive-through

Concord Monitor
Published: 5/18/2020 9:09:25 PM
Modified: 5/18/2020 9:09:20 PM

HOPKINGTON, N.H. — Hundreds of voters rolled up to Hopkinton High School on Saturday to take part in the school district’s annual meeting with spending on their mind, but first, they had to wait.

So many people came out — more than 1,400 — that long lines of cars formed, forcing some residents to wait more than an hour before casting their drive-through ballots as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteers and police officers directed traffic.

Residents ultimately rejected the two costliest items on the budget — the $21.4 million operating budget and the teacher’s contract at a cost of a little more than $300,000 per year.

“Thank you very much for coming out to vote today and especially for your patience with the long lines to check-in,” Moderator James Newsom wrote to voters. “I am sorry that the process took so long, but I am sure you were more comfortable in your car than on the bleachers in the gym.”

When Hopkinton voter check-in volunteer Dulcie Lipoma saw her friends pull up for the drive-through meeting, she was thrilled to see them. However, there was no time for chit-chat since keeping things moving was the top priority, she said.

Two rows of check-in volunteers got voters’ names, and handed out ballots. Voters made their decisions and then placed their ballot into a recycling container under the watchful eye of Newsom.

When one voter was notified he could be waiting a while, he said, “I kinda figured that.”

Since the district didn’t have a default budget, voters will have to come back on May 30 to reconsider the budget.

Valley News

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