Voters in southern New Hampshire were helping some communities tally up some admirable numbers in Tuesday’s primary election while others said turnout was low.
With many community ballots showing non-contested races for state representative and other offices, voting numbers were steady in both Derry and Londonderry.
Londonderry, with its 18,373 registered voters, saw more 1,000 voters come through the Londonderry High School gymnasium doors to vote by about 1 p.m. Tuesday. By the time the polls ended, about 3,800 residents had cast their ballots.
It was an energy that made election officials happy.
“We’ve been quite busy,” Londonderry Town Clerk Sherry Farrell said, adding Londonderry has so much tradition and history that voting days are always a great way to catch up with friends.
Londonderry Assistant Town Moderator Cindi Rice-Conley added even though the community had little contention in local races, it’s was still good to see a good turnout.
With unofficial results reported, all Republican candidates for District 5 state representative moved on to the November ballot including incumbents David Lundgren, 1,462 votes; Betsy McKinney, 1,359 votes; Sherman Packard, 1,319 votes; Doug Thomas, 1,259 votes; and Al Baldasaro, 1,551 votes. Rounding out the list were Tom Dolan, 1,354 votes and Roger Fillio with 1,230 votes.
Londonderry Democratic candidates moving on to the general election ballot are Alex Rego,1,246 votes; Paul Skudlarek, 1,222 votes; Robin Skudlarek, 1,327 votes; Anne Warner, 1,418 votes; Kyle Foden, 1,208 votes, Mack Leathurby, 1,198 votes, and Luisa Piette with 1,368 votes.
Londonderry Supervisor of the Checklist Kristin Grages said she had visited the high school prior to the primary to help sign up about 25 students who were eligible to vote and also presented some civics lessons about elections and voting at the same time.
That, she said, was a great way to introduce the process to the community’s newest group of voters.
“That was a lot of fun,” Grages said, adding she also told students all about the changes in election laws and how important it is to be aware of what’s going on.
Resident Reed Clark was doing his traditional election day duties, manning a table and selling Londonderry Historical Society books, blankets and other items.
He said he is always ready to cast his ballot and was hoping the voting numbers improved throughout the day.
“I voted in every election I can think of since I was 21,” Clark said. “I don’t see why others don’t come out.”
Derry also saw positive numbers with many candidates holding signs at both of the town’s polling places while greeting a steady stream of voters at both locations.
Republican incumbent state Rep. Jim Webb was happy to see the turnout.
“For a midterm, it’s been good,” Webb said.
Districts 2 and 3 voters had cast about 1,000 ballots at West Running Brook Middle School by early afternoon. Districts 1 and 4 voters were also tallying up good numbers over at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School.
Town officials decided to have only two polling spots for the elections instead of the traditional three used in past years.
“People seem enthusiastic and excited to be here,” said Derry Town Moderator Mary Till.
In the end, approximately 3,700 of Derry’s more than 23,500 registered voters had cast ballots. Many newcomers also registered on voting day.
Derry’s only contested race was the Republican run for state representative for District 6, with a field of 16 candidates hoping to be one of 10 moving on to the November ballot.
Candidates making the cut and moving on to the November ballot are incumbents Phyllis Katsakiores, 1,023 votes; John O’Connor, 926 votes; Frank Sapareto, 851 votes; Jim Webb, 893 votes; Brian Chirichiello, 939 votes, and David Milz, 905 votes.
David Love took a November spot and had the top tally with 1,1126 votes. Others winning were John Potucek, 994 votes; Katherine Prudhomme-O’Brien, 890 votes, and Stephen Pearson, 836 votes.
Democrats that will appear on Derry’s November ballot are Mary Eisner, 1,429 votes; Owen Ingram, 1,114 votes; Michelle E. Sawyer Moge, 1,277 votes; Fred Bates, 1,123 votes; Sean Cohen, 1,175; and Ronald Cooper III 1,136.