Weekly N.H. News Roundup: Oct 30, 2020
With only four days to go until Election Day, we discuss poll watchers and other voting issues. Then, we dig into why advocates in New Hampshire are rethinking the role of county attorney and how the Black Lives Matter movement is working to translate momentum into policy change. We also have our final installment of our Down-ballot series.
Air date: Friday, Oct. 30, 2020.
- Casey McDermott - NHPR's investigative data reporter.
- Mary McIntyre - NHPR's Morning Edition producer.
- Sarah Gibson - NHPR's education reporter.
- Josh Rogers - NHPR's senior political reporter.
This show was produced by fellow Jane Vaughan.
If you have additional questions about voting, you can call the state election hotline, which is operated by the AG's office, at 866-868-3703 or email them at email@example.com.
During our discussion on The Exchange, NHPR's Casey McDermott explained, "I've had to stop myself from kind of reflexively referring to it as 'Election Day' because people have been voting for a while now... The numbers so far show that quite a lot of New Hampshire residents have already returned their absentee ballots. So as of this Tuesday, the Secretary of State's office has been putting out new numbers each week leading up to the election, about 181,000 absentee ballots had already been returned statewide. So just to put that into context, that's more than two times the number of absentee ballots that were cast in the last presidential election in 2016. And that also amounts to just a little under a quarter of all of the votes that were cast in 2016 in the general election. So we don't know what the final totals are going to shake out to be. Those ballots still have to be processed and counted and evaluated for their legitimacy. But the signs so far point to, at the very least, record-breaking absentee ballot usage when all is said and done."
She also clarified that you can drop off your absentee ballot at the polls on Tuesday rather than handing it in to your town clerk. It does need to be turned in by 5 p.m. on Election Day, as that is the deadline for absentee ballots to be handed in.
A listener asked if absentee ballots will only be counted if the election is close. McDermott explained, "That is never the case in New Hampshire... What's important to know is that in New Hampshire, absentee ballots and the ballots that people cast in person are counted one and the same. They both go into the same ballot box. They both go into the same ballot counting machine, if you live in a town that uses one of those, and they are counted in the same pile. So at the end of the night, you don't know which ballot was from an absentee voter or which ballot was from an in-person voter."