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NH Secretary of State Announces New Voter Hotline

For more information about voting during the pandemic, there are regular updates on the New Hampshire Secretary of State's website. (Tony Webster/Flickr)
For more information about voting during the pandemic, there are regular updates on the New Hampshire Secretary of State's website. (Tony Webster/Flickr)
August 12, 2020

CONCORD, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Secretary of State's Office is launching a new voter hotline to help people register to vote and request absentee ballots.

The move was made because the state anticipates many more people voting absentee because of concerns about COVID-19. Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan said that if Granite State residents can't print out forms from the internet, they can call to request a voter registration packet or an absentee ballot.

"They can simply make a phone call to their city or town clerk, or they can call the Secretary of State's office," he said. "And this year, this office is going to have a voter hotline just for that specific purpose."

The number for the Secretary of State's new voter hotline is 833-726-0034. The state primary is Sept. 8, and the U.S. general election is Nov. 3.

Once citizens are registered to vote, the absentee ballot is a two-part process. They'll first need to apply for a ballot. In it, they must include a reason for voting absentee -- and the coronavirus is considered a valid reason. They can drop that application off at their local town or city clerk's office or mail it in, and they then will receive a ballot in the mail.

Scanlan said one big obstacle to voting absentee was recently resolved.

"There was a bill that was just recently passed by the Legislature to help deal with the COVID situation," he said, "which allows the local election officials to pre-process absentee ballots on the Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday before the election."

In the past, officials processed all ballots on Election Day. Now, Scanlan said, election officials can contact a voter if their ballot wasn't properly executed, so the voter can fix it. More information about the election by state is also on the AARP website at aarp.org/election2020, or on the Secretary of State's website, sos.nh.gov/Elections.aspx.

Laura Rosbrow-Telem, Public News Service - NH