Friday, February 5, 2016

Election Season Starts with New Hampshire Primary

Farmington will have several Election Days this year!  The first two will occur on February 9 and on March 8.  This is a Presidential election year, so New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Primary will be held on Tuesday, February 9.  Town Election Day is always the 2nd Tuesday in March, which is March 8. Farmington Town Meeting is always held the Wednesday after town election day.  Town Meeting will be on Wednesday, March 9.  You'll get a chance to review the town budget and have your say in how our town spends its revenues.

In order to register to vote, New Hampshire citizens who are at least 18 years of age must demonstrate proof of residency and register with the Town Clerk, or the Supervisors of the Checklist, on Election Day or at the posted Supervisor’s meetings.  Once registered as a voter, your name will appear on the Town Voter Check, and you will be able to vote in a  future elections.  Town citizens should exercise their right to vote. You can register at the Municipal Building by filling out a NH Voter Registration Form, bring along your id (driver’s license, or passport, or birth certificate), and proof of residency (mail delivered to a Farmington address, or your Farmington tax bill).

In New Hampshire, no one is permitted to register to vote after ten (10) days prior to an election, except voter registration is accepted on Election Day. This ten day gap allows the Supervisors of the Checklist time to update and print the Checklist that will be used at the polls on Election Day.
If you are a registered voter, or will register to vote at least ten days in advance of an election, and are unable to vote at the polls on Election Day, due to absence from town or physical disability, you may obtain an absentee ballot from the Town Clerk.

The civic responsibility of voting is an important right for all Americans and the foundation of our democratic society.  We all  should exercise our right to vote at every opportunity.  Voting is our chance to voice our opinions, and take an active part in what happens in our town, state, and nation.  The first line in the introduction to Voting is an Ethical Issue from the Princeton Press, states "When we vote, we can make government better or worse.  In turn, our voters can make people's lives better or worse." (http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/i9464.pdf) It is as simple as that.  Hopefully, we vote to make things better.

In New Hampshire, we have a semi-open voting system. A registered member of one party cannot votet in the other Party's primary.  But, it does allow registered independent voters to choose the  ballot for the Party of their choice when they vote.  New Hampshire state law requires the Secretary of State to move the primary's date to one week before any similar Primary election.
Please remember to vote in all elections.

This is the February issue cover story, but elections and voting are important, so I thought I would share our feature story online with you.  - sjf.

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