I voted absentee today.
It was easy. It was safe.
Kudo’s to the Town, because the process was impressive.
I had requested my absentee ballot when I requested my ballot for the primary. After filling it in — both sides! — it went into the inner envelope, which had my signature, and then it went into the outer envelope. And off I went!
What to Expect
At Town Hall, there is a huge tent; it even had heat. Although the parking lot was pretty full, there were no lines. There were multiple volunteers, and there were other people, who were filling in their paperwork. Since I had done my paperwork at home, all I had to do was prove who I was, and then, under the supervision of the volunteer, I put my envelope in the dropbox. The dropbox looked like a mailbox; and it was pretty full! After making my deposit, then home I went. I was in and out in less than 5 minutes!
It’s not too late!
If you don’t have an absentee ballot yet, you can ask for one there, fill it in, and then put it in the dropbox. There were tables set up, with curtains, to give privacy to anyone who needed to fill in their absentee ballot paperwork and/or fill in their ballot.
You can always fill in the absentee ballot request at home, to save time. Find it at https://sos.nh.gov/elections/voters/absentee-ballots/. You can also track your ballot status there, too. If you have asked for an absentee ballot, you can find out if it has been sent. If you brought in your ballot, you can check to see if it has been received. (It can take a few days to show up.)
Note that if you are bringing in an absentee ballot for someone else, there are additional steps that must be followed.
You may request an absentee ballot up through Monday. Your absentee ballot must be returned by 5:00 on Tuesday. (You may still vote on Tuesday up until 7:00 pm using the traditional process.) You can return your ballot to Town Hall through Monday, or at your regular polling place by Tuesday.
It’s too close to Election Day to request that an absentee ballot be mailed to you, or to mail yours back. If it isn’t received by 5:00 on Tuesday, your vote doesn’t count. Don’t let that happen!
Why vote absentee?
- NH Secretary of State has determined that concerns about COVID-19 is a valid reason to vote absentee.
- Rockingham County is at a substantial community transmission level, and Salem has more active cases than any other community in the county. COVID-19 is here.
- You reduce your risk of being exposed.
- You reduce the risk to poll volunteers, by keeping the lines shorter, so people can move through faster.
- You can avoid the lines, and don’t have to stay in line with people who could be infectious.
- You could become sick between now and Tuesday. If you do, you might not get to vote, and you shouldn’t vote in person.
I have faith in our volunteers and in the process. I felt as though I was safe, I felt I was keeping others safe, and I felt my ballot was safe. It’s a win-win-win.
Whatever you do, be sure to vote on or before Tuesday. And when you do, please Vote Wright!