, Derry, New Hampshire

March 13, 2014

Derry voters come out in small numbers

Just 6.2 percent of voters cast their ballots in election

By Julie Huss

---- — DERRY — The Derry Town Council has two new faces.

David Fischer topped opponent Marc Flattes for the open District 3 Council job, 227-140 in Tuesday’s election.

Joshua Bourdon ran unopposed for the open Councilor-at-Large seat at the table earning 925 votes.

Of the town’s 20,108 registered voters, only 1,257 or 6.2 percent came to cast ballots at one of the four polling places in town.

“This is as poor as it can possibly be,” Supervisor of the Checklist Renee Routhier said.

By the end of the day the Derry checklist had grown by 31 names.

Some said they never miss an election.

Priscilla Abbott also makes voting a priority.

“It’s your town,” she said. “What is more important than voting?”

Ballot volunteers brought their usual books and magazines to pass the time during slow spells.

Nancy Pierce has volunteered at the polls since the 2008 presidential election.

“That’s how I learned how to do this,” she said. “People were lined up 19 deep by then.”

Longtime election volunteer Janet Conroy was on duty at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School and was upset about the turnout.

“And I’ve never come to an election when there is no one standing outside,” she said. “It’s a gorgeous day, I thought there would be a good turnout.”

Resident Lynn Perkins stood outside the polls at Pinkerton Academy with a large sign asking voters if they understood the school district’s deliberative session and how money was spent on schools.

“People are always complaining about high taxes,” Perkins said. “I am trying to motivate voters.”

In other election totals, Joel Olbricht beat out Kelly Mahony for the lone Trustee of the Trust Fund job for three years, 610-477.

The incumbent mother/daughter team of Lorraine and Renee Routhier also topped opponents for more time as Supervisors of the Checklist.

Renee Routhier beat out challenger Janet Bhagat for the six-year term, 720-346. Lorraine Routhier won the four-year job over Margaret Mullins, 561-491.

Incumbents Aimee Huntemann and Ed Ciancio won the two open Taylor Library trustee jobs with 809 and 735 votes, respectively, in an uncontested race for three-year terms.

Incumbents Dorothy Wiley and Phyllis Howard also won another three-year term as Derry Public Library trustees, with 564 and 412 votes, respectively. Lynne Mann took the third open position with 489 votes. Christina Mentus got 404 votes; James Thomas earned 379 votes and M. Jackie Dempsey took 283 votes.

Town moderator Margie Ives ran unopposed, earning another two-year term with 1,035 votes.

On the school side, voters approved the proposed $80.5 million school spending plan, 915-234.

Incumbent School Board members Dan McKenna and Wendy Smith also won three more years on the board in an uncontested race, earning 915 and 848 votes, respectively.

Derry elementary and middle school students also had the opportunity to cast their own ballots at polling places. Each school had a ballot that asked children to choose a special activity or event. Some choices included a pizza party, barbecue, pajama day or scavenger hunt.