Towns can modify election dates following Sununu order

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Gov. Chris Sununu

CONCORD, NH – Each spring, over 200 towns across New Hampshire engage in a highly proscribed tradition of direct democracy, following a myriad of specific dates and requirements to make Town Meetings a reality. This year, residents of New Hampshire towns will still meet to decide a panoply of topics, but requirements on timelines are going to be somewhat more free form.

On Jan. 22, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu announced that Town Meeting deliberative sessions, traditional Town Meetings and official ballot voting days for Town Meetings can be postponed upon the decision of local officials. Voting procedures may also be modified for safety purposes after consultation with town moderators, the attorney general’s office and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Under state law, towns must meet a series of deadlines regarding items such as the submission of annual budgets and voter checklists as well as set dates for deliberative sessions and voting days depending on the style of Town Meeting followed by the town.

The move comes after a recent bi-partisan bill allowing for the postponement of elections unanimously passed the State Senate. The bill was expected to pass the House as well, but with an uncertain timeline.

Sununu’s emergency order on allowing the postponement of Town Meeting activities is the 83rd since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. A full list can be seen here.

About Andrew Sylvia 2021 Articles
Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and license to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.