, Derry, New Hampshire

January 3, 2013

Derry officials ponder town polling locations

By Julie Huss

---- — DERRY — Officials are hoping to make casting ballots as easy as possible when elections come around again.

Following strong voter turnout in November, officials say it’s now time to make sure residents continue to have an easy time figuring out where they need to go to vote.

Derry traditionally has three polling places.

The town is divided in four districts.

Not only did thousands of new voters sign up at the polls Nov. 6, but approximately 16,500 of the town’s 17,500-plus checklist cast ballots.

The day was pretty smooth, town officials said, but some things could be done better.

With three polling places open, including Pinkerton Academy, voters lined up for most of the day to vote or sign up to be new voters.

In November, Pinkerton Academy serviced Districts 1 and 3 voters in the large gym.

Town Administrator John Anderson said there was some confusion in November; many residents weren’t sure what district they were in or where they should go to vote.

In smaller elections, typically, District 1 and 4 voters headed to Gilbert H. Hood Middle School to vote; District 2 voted at Calvary Bible Church; and District 3 would often vote at West Running Brook Middle School.

Anderson wants to make sure the schedule remains consistent in future elections and would like to see Pinkerton remain as an official voting location.

“This is so we don’t confuse our voters,” he said. “We are playing Russian roulette with our polling locations.”

Anderson said he was in talks with Pinkerton officials to see if the school could serve as an official town polling spot.

He said he would have Pinkerton’s official answer back to councilors this month.