Election Day 2020: Earlier Live Blog Updates
This post contains earlier updates from our 2020 Election Day Live Blog.
State rep: Voting absentee out of fear is "wrong"
New Hampshire polling places are seeing a record number of absentee ballots this year, including in Franklin's Ward 1, where more than 300 absentee ballots were recorded by midday.
Dave Testerman, a Republican state rep running for reelection in Franklin, campaigned outside of the polls today. He said he was happy to be able to vote in person, and chose to do so without a mask.
"I absolutely voted in person," he said. "I believe that voting absentee when you don't have a reason for it, other than you're afraid, is wrong."
Many New Hampshire polling places have separate areas for voters who choose not to wear a mask. Voters who wish to cast an absentee ballot because of COVID-19 are allowed to do so.
- Jordyn Haime
Long lines reported at New Hampshire polling places
Some polling places around the state are reporting long lines, likely resulting from the combination of high turnout and more social distancing.
In Stratham earlier today, lines stretched into the parking lot, with moderators reporting a 35-minute wait. Poll volunteer Paul Anthony seemed a bit in awe.
“Never seen anything like it before. I’ve lived in Stratham for 33 years, and I’ve never missed a vote, and I’ve never seen the line like this," he said. "Turnout is just spectacular.”
Polls close at different times in different communities. According to guidance provided by the Secretary of State's office to New Hampshire election officials, would-be voters who are waiting in line when poll closures are announced must be allowed to register and vote.
For more information about your community's polling hours, contact your town clerk or local voting officials.
- Todd Bookman
At Ward 5 in Concord, poll workers hold stacks of absentee ballots to feed into the machine in between the ballots of in-person voters. A truck carrying a Trump/Pence sign is parked outside. Photos by Cori Princell.
What you're telling us about your voting experience
Have you seen something unusual, amiss, or wonderful today? How did voting go for you? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some more voters we've heard from today (scroll down for earlier contributions):
I was an election volunteer today in Exeter. As part of a team that opened absentee ballots, we opened over 5000 ballots. I watched. Very long lines all morning. I am pleased as a 93 year old to see hundreds of new voters come through. - Don Doane
Just voted in Gilmanton and signed up as a first-time voter. Everything went very smoothly. Just saddened...that Gilmanton had run out of "I voted!" stickers, yet it is a good sign for democracy. - Larry Shields
I voted in Northwood at around 8:15/8:30 and was in and out in about 20 minutes. Everyone in line with me was cheerful and poll workers were friendly and efficient. A great experience all around! (And I got my sticker.) - Jill Therriault
For the first time in 18 years voting here [there] was actually a line this morning in Greenville - though it did move quickly. I feel this is the most critical vote in my lifetime. - Deb Spratt
"A sense of doom"
Some voters say they're glad to see see people coming together on Election Day, despite political differences. Michela Marsh is a voter in Ward Two in Portsmouth.
Marsh says she woke up feeling a sense of doom.
"But showing up at the polls on this bright sunny day despite holding signs from opposing parties makes me feel a lot of hope," she says.
- Tat Bellamy Walker
Voter in Manchester refuses to remove Trump hat
Poll workers at Ward 11 in Manchester say they've had to remind several voters that they aren't allowed to wear anything with a candidate's name inside the polling place. Moderator Lucille Forest says it's state policy for voters to remove hats, buttons or any other political garb.
"Because it's called campaigning, and you're not allowed to campaign within 10 feet of the voting,” Forest said.
After a man refused to take off his Trump hat this morning, Forest had to call Manchester City Hall for guidance.
"I did check with city hall, and we can let him in, because we're not supposed to stop anyone from voting,” Forest said. “But then we're supposed to report all the people who refuse to take off any campaigning material."
That report will go to the New Hampshire Attorney General's office.
Forest also said she expects record voter turnout in Ward 11 today. “Even the last presidential election, it was not this busy. I’ve never seen it so busy in the morning,” Forest said.
She said about 4,000 people live in Ward 11, and as of 11 a.m., over 2,000 people had already voted.
- Mary McIntyre
Record absentee ballot returns in New Hampshire
The latest data from New Hampshire's Secretary of State shows that, as of this morning, more than 235,000 Granite Staters have returned absentee ballots. That's nearly a quarters of the total number of registered voters in New Hampshire as of August - the most comprehensive data available at this time.
In Concord, Ward 4 voters line up outside the Boys & Girls Club (left). At Ward 10, voters cast ballots at Broken Ground School. Photos by Dan Barrick and Jim Schachter.
What New Hampshire voters are telling us
We'd love to share your Election Day stories and photos - whether you've seen something unusual, amiss, or wonderful. How did voting go for you? Send us an email at email@example.com.
Here are some voters we've heard from today:
Great experience in Manchester, Ward 2 this morning at 7:00 a.m. Made it home in time for work at 8:00 a.m. There was a line but it moved quickly. Great folks working the polls. Everyone wore a mask. I was a little worried that there might be harassment when approaching the polling site, but no problem. As usual, New Hampshire does a great job with voting! - Sue Janes
I got the chance to vote at the tent behind Town Hall in Salem last week. It was beyond wonderful!! I wish this was always an option!! I loved being able to vote early (though I understand this was actually absentee, not early voting). I never realized how stressful the polls felt on voting day until I didn't have to endure it. I think New Hampshire really needs to consider early voting, what a great experience!! - Melissa Grant
Because of the COVID risk due to age and health, I voted by absentee ballot, and was glad to be able to do so but I did miss the experience of doing it in person. - Stephen Capron
Voters, campaign volunteers, and poll workers across the state are braving the elements on a cold and windy Election Day. In Weare (left), a snow squall surprises voters standing in line outside the middle school where voting is taking place.
In Plymouth, voter Mary Luther tells NHPR's Sean Hurley, "This is awesome. This line! There's so much enthusiasm!"
Todd Bookman is just one of NHPR's reporters out in the field today. You can follow all of them on Twitter here. And if you want to send us your photos or notable election day stories, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Voter scenes: Cathi Frakes casts her ballot in Newfields. Northward, at Thornton's Central School, voters line up outside the polls. Photos by Dan Tuohy and Sean Hurley.
Sununu: "We'll all be glad when it's over."
Waiting to vote in Newfields this morning, Gov. Chris Sununu said the lines at the polls are a sign that New Hampshire voters are highly engaged and ready to get this election over with.
"The fact that we showed up a little before 7 and there was already lines out the door is a good sign that everyone's out voting, they're out participating and that's the most important thing, regardless of who you're going to vote for," Sununu said. "We just want everyone to get out there and participate. I think it's going to be a busy day across the country and I think I speak for all of America when I say that I think we'll all be glad when it's over."
VIDEO: NHPR's Dan Tuohy talked with Gov. Chris Sununu as he stood in line to cast a ballot in Newfields. To watch their conversation, follow NHPR on Instagram.
Congressman Chris Pappas is among the bystanders as would-be voters aid a woman who slipped on black ice outside the Ward 1 polling place in Manchester. Cold weather greeted voters in many New Hampshire communities on Election Day, and icy roadways around the state saw several motor vehicle accidents. Photo by Kevin Flynn.
In Hopkinton, long morning lines and an outdoor voting booth for residents who aren't wearing masks. Photos by Rebecca Lavoie.
Nashua's Wayne St. Peter was the first in line to vote at Ward 3 in Nashua, at the Amherst Street School. He says he showed up before dawn at 5:15 a.m. so that he could cast a ballot before going to work.
It's Election Day, and the polls are beginning to open across the state, although a record-setting number of ballots has already been cast in New Hampshire.
Bookmark and refresh this page frequently for updates from NHPR's newsroom. Our reporters will be covering the polls and talking with voters around the state.
If you'd like to get in touch with a story tip or to tell us about your voting experience, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a voicemail at 603-513-7790. If you leave us a voicemail, please make sure to include your name and phone number, in case we need to reach out with any follow-up questions.
- NHPR Staff