Town Meeting: Some N.H. towns offer absentee ballots available ahead of Tuesday’s storm 

Staff Report

Published: 03-13-2023 2:37 PM

WEST LEBANON — Some Upper Valley towns are inviting voters to cast absentee ballots for Town Meeting voting on Monday, in advance of a winter storm predicted for Tuesday, when in-person ballot voting is scheduled for many New Hampshire towns and school districts.

And, in at least one case, voting has been postponed. Charlestown postponed its voting until Tuesday, March 28, according to a Monday email to residents.

The New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office is maintaining a list of towns that have postponed Town Meeting voting, in accordance with RSA 669:1 V, which allows communities to do so when the National Weather Service issues a weather event warning applicable to a town on a date when an election is scheduled. The list is online at: sos.nh.gov/

The storm is expected to bring 40-mile-per-hour winds and as much as 18 inches of snow to Sullivan County and as much as a foot to Grafton County, according to the National Weather Service.

Under RSA 657:1, II, voters are allowed to vote absentee when their municipality is under a winter storm warning. Sullivan County has a winter storm warning in effect from 8 p.m. Monday through 8 a.m. Wednesday. 

Grafton County, meanwhile, has a winter storm watch in place for Monday evening through Wednesday morning.

All communities under a winter storm warning with ballot voting scheduled for Tuesday will have office hours to allow voters to get absentee ballots at least from 3 – 5 p.m. Monday,  Anna Sventek, a spokeswoman for the Secretary of State’s Office, said in a Monday phone interview.

Voters can find their local town clerk’s contact information using the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s voter information lookup tool at https://app.sos.nh.gov/viphome

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Both Haverhill and Canaan sent out messages to residents on Monday inviting voters to come to town offices to cast absentee ballots in advance of the storm.

Canaan’s email said the ballots need to be submitted to the town clerk by 5 p.m. Monday, or mailed and post marked by the post office by Tuesday.

Haverhill also is offering rides to the polls on Tuesday, according to a Facebook post from the town manager. Those interested in a ride can call the Town Administration Office at 603-787-6800.

In Lebanon, absentee ballots are available on Monday for people who are elderly, infirm or have a physical disability and would otherwise vote in person, but have safety concerns about traveling in the storm; and for people who anticipate that school, child care or adult care will be canceled and would otherwise vote in person but will need to care for children or infirm adults, according to the city’s website.

In those cases, people can pick up (and return) absentee ballots at the City Clerk’s Office, 51 N Park Street, through 5 p.m. Monday. 

In Enfield, absentee ballots are available Monday until 5 p.m. at the Town Clerk’s Office, 23 Main St., Town Clerk Wendy Huntley said in an email.

In Claremont, absentee ballots are available Monday until 5 p.m. in the City Clerk’s Office, 58 Opera House Square, according to the city’s website.

In Cornish, the town clerk will make absentee ballots available on Monday from 3 – 5 p.m. Voters are asked to complete an absentee request form. Completed absentee ballots may be given directly to the town clerk during Monday’s office hours. Those that are mailed must arrive at the Cornish Post Office by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

This post will be updated as merited. Valley News coverage of Town Meeting is online at: vnews.com/Special-Sections/Town-Meeting-2023

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