The year 2012 brought us a Presidential Primary and 3 other elections – Town Election, State Primary, and the November General Election. Presidential years are always our busiest, as they bring more voters "out of the woodwork" than other years. Many voters who do not participate in Town elections or mid-term Congressional elections do vote in the Presidential elections.
The Supervisors were kept busy registering new voters and voters who have changed their town of residence since the last election. We registered a total of 232 voters in the 4 elections of 2012, bringing us to a total of 983:
222 Democrats, 316 Republicans, and 445 Undeclared voters.
Election Officials also had to contend with the new New Hampshire photo I.D. law, which required that voters already registered to vote bring a photo I.D. in order to vote. This added another layer of complexity for all. While we had few problems locally with this new system, it remains to be seen how this law will prove out as a means of preventing "voter fraud".
While the types of I.D.s that voters were allowed to bring for 2012 and the 2013 town election are fairly broad, this list will narrow after September 1, 2013 to only 5 types of I.D.:
–Drivers license from any state
–U.S. Armed Services Photo ID
–Non-driver photo ID issued by NH DMV
–Voter ID issued by NH DMV
(Expiration date on photo IDs cannot be more than 5 years old )
It is difficult to say whether a problem exists that warrants such strict requirements in order for people to vote. There have been 10 cases of voter impersonation nationwide since the year 2000, out of some 146 million registered voters. Yet the risk of disenfranchising legitimate voters, especially the elderly and the poor, is real.
Those who are interested in reading more about voter fraud investigations in New Hampshire can visit this webpage:
This year’s Town Elections will be Tuesday, March 12th. This year, we vote at the Pierce Elementary School. The Polls will be open 8am – 7pm. Remember, we have Same-Day registration in New Hampshire. Bring a picture I.D. with proof of residence to register to vote at the polls. Even if you are already registered, you will be asked to show a photo I.D. in order to vote.
We still count votes by hand in Bennington, and we welcome volunteers to help. Vote counting is an interesting and rewarding way to get involved with your community. Every vote will be counted, and every vote counts! Paper ballots are still the best guarantee of free open elections, as they ensure a voter-verified paper trail. All are welcome to lend a hand on Election Day evening. Volunteer with the Town Moderator or Town Clerk if you would like to help either during the day or in the evening.
Don't forget to visit the Bennington Elections web-pages if you have questions about voting, elections, etc. In them you can find information about registering to vote, the photo I.D. law, the Election schedule, absentee voting, previous years' election reports, links to State and Federal Elections' sites, and more. Please visit them at: