Last Friday, I wrote on a whiteboard 25 days until our 2020 general election!
It is so hard to believe, but as I am typing to you now, it is 24 days away, and it will be here before we know it!
For all of us election officials, it is exciting and nerve-racking.
What is different about this election? Never did we dream that we would have a pandemic to deal with.
The great news, day by day, we are understanding more about this disease and many great people are behind the scenes at all levels to ensure that if voters choose to come to vote in-person, then they will be safe and protected — you have my word on that.
Just about every day, in every town or city, this is being discussed. All voters are in the best hands, but not just because of COVID-19.
I believe that New Hampshire is not only one of the safest states for voting, but also I believe we are No. 1 in giving 120% to our voters to ensure that our elections are fair and transparent, to ensure that every vote counts.
Maybe I should add that every vote counts only once too. Our governor, Secretary of State and Attorney General’s offices are going above and beyond for every voter.
I am proud to be a registered voter in our great state because I believe with all my heart in the process that has been established and proven to work here in New Hampshire.
Many great people, working together, listening to each other and willing to make changes based on new ideas, is something we do not see in every state.
Our post offices are doing their very best, too. What we have to remember is that every office is now processing more absentee ballots than ever before!
Many will be up over 300%. Can you imagine? What I want to ask all voters to remember is that human beings, not robots, are behind the scenes at your post offices, town and city halls, and at the state level too.
I believe we are going to get 99% of this election correct, or as a teacher, our grade when the election is over will be an A. If it is not, it will not be because of a lack of trying, passion or good old elbow grease. I believe that hard-working Americans in our state are giving 120% to our election process.
Humans do get tired, overworked and will make small honest errors here and there. Humans are not perfect, we are all perfectly imperfect, yet doing our very best. When we work together, we help each other, and we double-check each other. We achieve great things together, not alone. There is no room for the “gotcha mentality.”
On that note, please don’t let yourself get caught up in that gotcha trap, too. Do your best to become an educated voter, and if an error is made, call your election offices and let them know so that corrections can be made. What can you do as a voter to be a positive light in the election process of our great country?
Check out some of the great new information sites that are available from our Secretary of State's office at sos.nh.gov.
Did you know that you can look up your voter status right there? I just checked mine and it is absolutely right. Remember though, with over a million registered voters in New Hampshire that old human factor might be there too.
If your information is wrong, don’t make it a “gotcha moment” — let's solve the problem together.
With absentee ballots, you do have to give your local offices time to process them. In New Hampshire, we have an amazing program called the Help America Vote Act or as we refer to it HAVA.
Talk about checks and balances. It’s fascinating! Everything has to be added into this program for every voter. The date we received your ballot, handed or mailed your ballot to you, and the date we received it back.
If we miss something, because of that old human factor, our state election office has our back and yours too, and they will notify us. We are all a team in this together!
Also, if you get some strange mail with your Town or City Clerk's name on it. Please know that it’s not from us! It’s horrible that anyone can put anyone’s name on a mailing and send it out. Personally, I think it should be illegal. Maybe someday it will be.
Our Secretary of State’s Office has lots of great public information out there. If you have Alexa, you can ask her questions related to our New Hampshire elections. How great is that?
When you read your newspaper this week, or check out our story on the website, it will be less than 20 days until Election Day! Most importantly please make sure to vote!
Sherry Farrell is Londonderry Town Clerk and a longtime resident of New Hampshire.