Tuesday Sept. 9 is primary Election Day here in New Hampshire, which means most of you will not be rushing off to the polls, because historically, that’s how it goes here.
However, it’s never too late to give it a try.
First things first: Where to vote
A link from the city’s official website makes it easy for you to find out which ward you live in, which dictates where you should vote. Click here to find out.
After you do that, you’ll want to take a look at the sample ballot for your ward, linked below, so you can do some research on the candidates. Polls are open in Manchester from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Ward 1 Polling Location: WEBSTER SCHOOL, 2519 Elm Street
Ward 2 Polling Location: HILLSIDE MIDDLE SCHOOL, 112 Reservoir Avenue
Ward 3 Polling Location: CAROL M. RINES CENTER, 1528 Elm Street
Ward 4 Polling Location: MCDONOUGH SCHOOL, 550 Lowell Street
Ward 5 Polling Location: BEECH STREET SCHOOL, 333 Beech Street
Ward 6 Polling Location: ST. PIUS CCD CENTER, Candia Road and Sarto Street
Ward 7 Polling Location: ST. ANTHONY COMMUNITY CENTER, 148 Belmont Street
Ward 8 Polling Location: MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL, One Crusader Way
Ward 9 Polling Location: BISHOP LEO E. O’NEIL YOUTH CENTER, 30 South Elm Street
Ward 10 Polling Location: PARKER-VARNEY SCHOOL, 223 James Pollock Street
Ward 11 Polling Location: GOSSLER PARK SCHOOL, 99 Sullivan Street
Ward 12 Polling Location: NORTHWEST ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 300 Youville Street
If you forgot to register to vote, or aren’t sure if your registration is still valid, that’s OK – you can register at the poll location on election day. And don’t worry about waiting in a long line – that’s not going to happen. You’ll be in and out in no time flat, with a renewed sense of civic pride.
Here’s the information you need for registering to vote, from the City Clerk’s web page:
New Hampshire residents who will be 18 years of age or older on Election Day, and a United States Citizen may register with their Town or City Clerk. According to State Law you may register to vote up to ten (10) days prior to an election unless that day falls on a holiday then it would be up to seven (7) days prior to the election. You may also register to vote on Election Day at your polling location. THE POLLS ARE OPEN FROM 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. UNLESS POSTED OTHERWISE.
The Office of the City Clerk is opened for voter registration Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Tuesday evenings until 8:00 p.m., excluding holidays. All applications must be approved by the Board of Registrars before being added to the checklist.
In order to register to vote in the City of Manchester you must meet the following requirements:
Valid New Hampshire Driver’s License with current Manchester address on the front.
ALL OTHER REGISTRANTS:
Proof of Identification:
Valid Driver’s License, Non-Driver’s ID, Current Passport, Military ID, or a completed Qualified Voter Affidavit signed under the penalties of voting fraud set forth by State Law.
Proof of Domicile:
Valid NH Vehicle Registration, Utility Bill (with applicant’s name on it, i.e. Telephone, Gas, Electric), medical bills, pay stubs showing your Manchester address or other monthly bills, postmarked mail within the last 30 days or a completed Domicile Affidavit signed under the penalties of voting fraud set forth by State Law.
If you are a naturalized citizen you will also need to provide proof of your citizenship or you will be asked to complete a Qualified Voter Affidavit signed under the penalties of voting fraud set forth by State Law.
Military or Oversees Citizen Registration:
If you are a member of the military you can obtain from your commanding officer a Standard Form 76 (red and white form), Federal Post Card Application – Registration and Absentee Ballot Request. If you are an oversees citizen or if your commanding officer does not have the form you can print out the online version of the Federal Post Card Application and mail it to the City Clerk’s Office, One City Hall Plaza, Manchester, NH 03101.
The Office of the City Clerk continues our commitment to making your election experience as pleasant as possible. In an effort to minimize waiting in long lines on Election Day, our annual Voter Registration Drive provides prospective voters with numerous opportunities to register to vote at locations within the community.
Depending on which party you are registered with you will see that many races may be uncontested. That’s OK – it’s still important to make selections where there are choices, and if you aren’t sure about a candidate, try doing a Google search of their name along with “NH” or “candidate” and you will likely find at least one source of information for background.
Useful FAQs from the NH Secretary of State website for those registered Undeclared:
- Q: Can I vote in a primary if I am an undeclared voter?
Yes. An undeclared voter may vote in a state primary or a presidential primary. You will be required to choose either a Republican or Democratic ballot when you go to vote.
- Q: How do I return to undeclared status after voting in a state primary or presidential primary?
When you vote on a party ballot in a state or presidential primary, you become a registered member of that party unless you fill out a card to or sign a list to return to undeclared status with the supervisors of the checklist.
- Q: How do I change my party affiliation?
You may change your party affiliation with the clerk of the town or city where you are domiciled or at any scheduled meeting of the supervisors of the checklist except for during the period of time between the first day of the filing period for the primary election and the date of the primary election itself.
- Q: Where can I look up my voter registration status?
Voters that have provided their date of birth on a voter registration form may go to the Secretary of State’s Registered Voter web link . The person must enter their first name, last name, town or city, date of birth, and complete the security entry. If the name, town or city, and date of birth are the same as what was provided in their voter registration form, their name, voter ID, and party affiliation, if any, will be displayed.
- Q: What if my party affiliation that is displayed on the Secretary of State’s website is not correct?
Voters should contact their local supervisors of the checklist or town/city clerk.
Editor’s note: As I expand the site I plan to provide more solid candidate bio information, but for now, I’m urging you to get involved in the process, if you aren’t already. It’s your right, and your privilege to have a say, aka democracy.