Derry: Election workers won’t be dealing with the same
time-crunch stress they faced during the primary.
By CHELSEY POLLOCK
Union Leader Correspondent
DERRY — It was past 3 a.m. by the time Derry Town Clerk Denise Neale left the municipal center on primary election night last month.
With an especially late Labor Day and early Nov. 2, Derry and other municipalities across the state were working on tighter-than-usual deadlines to report election results to the state to allow for the required 45-day gap between the primary and general election.
But on Nov. 2, Neale said she expects things to run much more smoothly.
“We don’t have that time crunch this time around,” Neale said Tuesday. “We’re thinking this one’s going to be easier, but busier.”A big indicator of voter turnout each year is the number of absentee ballots filed ahead of the Nov. 2 general election, Neale said.
To date, Derry has more than 300 absentee ballots on the books, she said, double the average of past years. “We don’t normally receive a lot of absentee ballots for town or state elections,” she said. “I would just assume that for some people it’s a big election, which is a good sign because we like to see high voter turnout.”
After the polls close that Tuesday night, Neale and other election workers will bring all ballots back to the municipal center for counting.
The primary results weren’t broadcast live this year as in years past, said Derry Community Television Cable System Coordinator Chris Martin. Martin said there was no particular reason why the channel decided not to broadcast the primary results this year, and that the general election would be streamed live to Derry residents on Channel 17.
“We usually try to go live around 8 or 8:30,” Martin said. “It’s usually a long time of really nothing going on, but the camera is up and live, and shows that we’re there. Then there are maybe two minutes where they read off the results.”
Once the results are released, Martin said, he will post a slide package on the cable access channel to continue through the night and following days.
And Neale said residents will likely not have to wait quite as long this time around.
“It won’t be so late this time — probably just 1 (a.m.),” she said.