Swanzey Church Continues as Voting Site Despite Outrage Over Pastor's Controversial Posts | New Hampshire Public Radio

Swanzey Church Continues as Voting Site Despite Outrage Over Pastor's Controversial Posts

Aug 27, 2020

Swanzey, a town of about 7,200, is in southwestern New Hampshire.
Credit Google Maps

The town of Swanzey says it will hold voting for the primary election this fall at Christian Life Fellowship Church, despite residents’ demands for a new location.

These requests come as a growing number of residents say they feel uncomfortable with the pastor’s social media posts.

In a review of the pastor’s social media page, he condemns Black Lives Matter. He also shares controversial posts about COVID-19.

Michael T. Branley, Swanzey's town’s administrator, says there were a lot of factors at play in changing the voting site.

"At this point ultimately due to the schedule with the upcoming September election we just didn’t feel there was enough time to change the location, have a good and safe plan in light of COVID-19 and to change the venue at this time," Branley said.

When asked about his response to the complaints about the pastor’s posts, Branley says he understands their concerns. He says they are also eligible to vote by absentee.

In a statement, the board says they plan to continue to explore other locations for future elections.

The state primary election is Sept. 8.