We welcome Melissa Searles, who stepped in as Supervisor to fill Barbara's spot. Many of you already know her as the Children's Librarian at the GEP Dodge Library here in town. Melissa has also served as a ballot clerk for many years. As of this writing, there are 995 registered voters in Bennington: 222 Democrats, 315 Republicans, and 458 Undeclared voters.
This year’s Town Elections will be Tuesday, March 11th. 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.
Citizens wishing to vote must now bring the following forms of ID to the polls or be prepared to fill out a "challenged voter affidavit" as means of proving that they are indeed qualified to vote in town.
The following 5 types of photo IDs will be accepted in 2014:
(1) A driver’s license issued by any state or the federal government.
(2) An identification card issued under RSA 260:21 or a nondriver’s identification card issued by the motor vehicles division, department, agency, or office of any state.
(3) A United States armed services identification card.
(4) A United States passport or passcard.
(5) A valid student identification card.
Expiration date on photo IDs cannot be more than 5 years old, with the exceptions of qualified IDs of voters over 65 years of age or student IDs issued before Sept 1, 2018.
Confused? So are we. It's a complicated solution to a problem that is not widespread. Voter impersonation is seldom the route by which voter fraud is carried out. 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:
At the bottom right is a section entitled "Voter Fraud Reports/Investigations" with links to 2006, 2008, and 2010 investigation reports by the Attorney General.
There is also an interesting election fraud database here:
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:
Drusilla Cox, Melissa Searles, Victoria Turner
SUPERVISORS OF THE CHECKLIST