NH State Primary – Know the Candidates Before You go to the Polls

Primary will be held on September 11

By Steve Foley

Having worked at the polls in Franklin for several years, I am always surprised how many voters arrive at the polls and have very little information about the candidates and the races that they are coming to vote for. But when I think about it, I have been guilty of the same thing myself. There is still time to do your research and find out about the candidates and the races that will be on the ballot on September 11.

Remember that the voting on September 11 is a primary election. There will be three ballots available;  Republican, Democrat, and Libertarian. When you vote, you will be given the ballot for the party that you are registered as.  If you are a registered Republican, you must take a Republican ballot. If you are a registered Democrat, you must take a Democrat ballot, etc. If you are an Undeclared voter, you can choose either ballot on the day of the election.

Many people do not realize that in order to remain an Undeclared voter, you must change your status back to undeclared after each primary election. If you do not change your status back, you will be listed on the rolls as being registered for whichever party you voted for in the last primary election. The last day to change your party affiliation is 45 days before an election, so you cannot change your party affiliation for this election. You can generally change your affiliation back immediately after you vote by filling out a form with the supervisors of the checklist right at the voting place. You can find out your current party affiliation by going to aaap.sos.nh.gov. You can also find your voting place, status of an absentee ballot and other information at that site.

In November, there will be the general election. There will be only one ballot so your party does not matter in that election.

For your convenience in researching the candidates, see the sample ballots printed with this article.

Most candidates have websites to assist in your research. A search engine such as Google will also help you to find news articles about the candidates. Most local candidates would welcome phone call from neighbors who want to know how they stand on the issues.