DERRY — Voters will head to Calvary Bible Church to cast ballots in a special election Dec. 7.

At a Town Council meeting Nov. 16, councilors gave opinions on the primary day election held Oct. 19 at West Running Brook Middle School and how future elections will be handled.

In just under two weeks, Republican Jodi Nelson will face off against Democrat Mary Eisner for a state representative spot in Rockingham County’s District 6.

Calvary was named the polling location for that election.

But that came, officials say, after school district officials were concerned about having the December election return to West Running Brook.

On primary day in October, there was public outcry, including from one school board member, about voters not being required to wear masks while voting inside the school’s gym.

State election rules say mandating masks is against the law, even though the school district currently has a universal mask mandate in place and school was in session that day.

Council Chairman Jim Morgan had voiced his concerns at an earlier meeting about what happened that day and called out the behavior of one school board member visibly upset at the polls because some voters were not masked inside the gym.

The decision was made to move the polling location away from the school for the December election.

Morgan had requested an apology from the school district, and as of the recent meeting, he said he hadn’t received one.

Morgan also said the school district should “pay its fair share” when it comes to financing elections and providing election day workers.

Councilor Joshua Bourdon said everyone had a part in what happened in October.

“We should never assume, and we should also avoid these public disputes,” Bourdon said.

At a recent school board meeting, Superintendent MaryAnn Connors-Krikorian said the school district and town have a good working relationship and after the events at the primary, she said all efforts were made to make sure the town didn’t get stuck without a polling place for December’s election.

And if elections were to be held at a school again, Connors-Krikorian said those days would be moved into remote learning to ensure student and staff safety.

But councilors plan to move forward and consider a resolution at the Dec. 14 meeting to designate Calvary as central polling location for town elections.

Polls will be open Dec. 7 at Calvary Bible Church, 145 Hampstead Road, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In other Council business, councilors considered a master lease agreement and supplemental appropriation for capital improvement purchases approved in the fiscal 2022 budget; considered making Valerie Lane, a new five-lot subdivision off Bedard Avenue as a Class V road to be maintained by the town; and appointed Public Works Director Michael Fowler as acting town administrator for a designated time in December.

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