Painless Absentee Ballot NH

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,633
Northern NH
Attempting to stay out of the political debate on who to vote for or why, I did do a absentee ballot for NH. Pretty easy, I was in at the town clerks office registering my car which requires showing my drivers license (NH now requires proof of ID) I asked for the absentee package which included an outer return envelope and a inner envelope for the ballot. The inner envelope requires a signature declaring my intent to use an absentee ballot complete with a post it note where I needed to sign on the inner envelope. I then filled in my choices on the ballot and inserted it in the inner envelope and sealed it and then dropped it off in the outer mailing envelope at the clerks office instead of mailing it back in. NH does not allow remote drop boxes but does allow the town clerk to accept it up to election day in person or by mail. NH (and a lot of other states) has a tracking application run by the NH secretary of state that lists what date I picked up the package and what date I returned it to the clerk and finally if it was processed on election day. If the inner envelope was signed in the wrong place or not signed, the clerk can contact the voter to let them know that they did something wrong and allow them to come in an correct it or get a new one. It stays in a safe in town hall until the election and then when the regular polls are slow they open the envelope in front of the registrars and the town moderator who runs the vote and they check off my name off the voters list when they open the inner envelope and then slide the ballot through the scanner. The scanner is not hooked to the internet and the paper ballots are stored in the scanner and retained. When the polls close, the registrar checks the results and reports them to secretary of state. if someone attempted to vote in person and send in an absentee ballot the voter list would indicate that the absentee ballot had already been received and the walk in voter would not be allowed to vote

I am from a small town and most of the people who work the polls are older ladies, I am not worried about any issues on my part about regular voting but less stress for them, if they have to deal with fewer voters on election day. An adjacent very small town (300 voters) have let their voters know that they would really appreciate mail in absentee ballots but will set up the people and equipment to do an in place vote just in case someone really wants to vote on election day. it varies town by town.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,092
South Puget Sound, WA
WA state went mail-in/ballot box many years ago. It has been a good system and liberating. In this time of Covid-19 this also means a lot less exposure with no polling place workers. Our system is similar to what you describe except that once registered my ballot goes in the machine ready to be counted on election day. I put in my envelope in the ballot box on Saturday and confirmed last night that it had been received, signature verified and is in the queue to be counted. That is impressive considering the system is dealing with a record load of votes, about 10x the normal. This is really no different than absentee balloting but on a statewide scale. It works and importantly there is a verifiable paper trail for each ballot.
 
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PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
785
MA
Very easy here in MA, too.

Received in mail. Filled out and dropped off at city hall when I went to pay taxes. Checked status online. Accepted.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,092
South Puget Sound, WA
When I went to PAY TAXES, you can't make this up;lol
Our property taxes are due at the beginning of November too. We mail it in.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
22,565
central pa
Ours are as well but they are paid through an escrow account. So the bank does it for us
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
785
MA
Our property taxes are due at the beginning of November too. We mail it in.
I used to mail it in. I am frequently right by city hall, so I have started just dropping them off. Water/sewer bill, too.
 

Riff

Burning Hunk
Nov 3, 2015
110
Virginia
Process was pretty smooth here in VA as well. Mail-in/drop box as well system. The wife's and mine are already in the system ready to be counted.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,633
Northern NH
My guess is the news as usual wants "eyeballs"and is reporting the exceptions rather than the norm.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,295
Northern Maine
emailed the town clerk both applications for the Mrs and I. Next day they were in my mail box. I'll drop both absentee ballots off by hand to town hall.

Not interested in standing with a bunch of sheep to vote on 11-3
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,222
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Asked for absentee ballots for my wife and I . . . oddly enough I received my ballot about a full week before my wife did. Filled it out and mailed it back. Wife is dropping her ballot off today.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,633
Northern NH
Can you track your ballot in Maine? (acknowledgement that the ballot was received by the clerk?)
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,222
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Can you track your ballot in Maine? (acknowledgement that the ballot was received by the clerk?)
I think we can . . . I should look into that.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,222
Unity/Bangor, Maine

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,633
Northern NH
With ballot tracking in place I find it pretty hard for someone to actually show up to town hall in the Covid era to vote. Sure there is slight social aspect as I usually see some folks I havent seen for awhile.