Absentee Ballot Information

NOVEMBER 8, 2022 STATE GENERAL ELECTION

The next Bedford Election will be the State General Election

 Tuesday, November 8, 2022

The testing of the Ballot Counting Devices will take place beginning at 9:00am on Thursday, October 27, 2022 at the Bedford Town Offices.

-Sally Kellar, Town Clerk

The processing of Absentee Ballots will take place on Tuesday, November 8, 2022 beginning at 10:00am in the Bedford High School Gymnasium.  Absentee Ballots must be received by 5:00 pm on Election Day.

-Brian Shaughnessy, Town Moderator

Absentee Ballot Request Form here


New Hampshire voters may vote by absentee ballot for specific reasons.

The reasons include; being absent from the voter's city or town, a religious observance, disability or illness, and employment commitments (including caregiving) during the time the polls are open. Absentee ballots may also be available when a weather emergency impacts an election.

Any Bedford voter wishing to complete an absentee ballot application, please print off the  application above and either mail to the Town Clerk's Office,24 North Amherst Road, Bedford, NH 03110 or hand deliver. You can also fax the application to 603-472-4573 or you scan and email to: townclerk@bedfordnh.org. 

Please make sure you sign the application before submitting it to our office.  Any incomplete applications will be rejected. 

 If you have any questions, please contact our office at 603-472-3550 ext. 2.

NH Secretary of State's information regarding absentee ballots can be found on their website here

QUALIFICATIONS

Any registered voter who is absent from the town on the day of an election, who cannot appear in public because of an observance of a religious commitment, or who is unable to vote in person by reasons of a physical disability, may vote by absentee ballot. A person who is unable to appear at any time during polling hours at his or her polling place because an employment obligation requires the person to remain physically at work or to be in transit to or from work from the time the polls open until after the time the polls close shall be considered absent from the town. (NH RSA 657:1)

PUBLIC HEALTH CONSIDERATIONS AND ABSENTEE VOTING

The statues, executive orders and guidance in place for 2020 elections specific to COVID 19 and obtaining an absentee ballot have expired. 

A person can register and vote by absentee if, based on their own health circumstances, medical authorities advise them to avoid going out in public.  This applies to:

1.) voters with symptoms of a communicable disease or illness;

2.) voters who, due to their own health circumstances, limit public exposure in their day-to-day life as a preventative measure.

These two types of voters can reasonably conclude that a "physical disability" exists within the meaning of RSA 654:16 and 654:17, absentee registration and RSA 657:1, absentee voting

REQUESTS

A Bedford voter's request for an absentee ballot must be made in writing and mailed, faxed or scanned  to the Town clerk. The request must be signed by the person requesting the ballot and needs to include that person's legal residence (not a post office box) and an address where the voter would like to have the ballot mailed. For your convenience, a link to an absentee ballot request form is posted at the top of this page. Absentee ballots will be available approximately 30 days prior to the date of an election. 

PLEASE NOTE

It is important to note the following in regards to absentee voting:

Make sure you carefully follow the instructions enclosed with your ballot.  After marking your ballot, place it in the small envelope and seal said envelope, then sign the affidavit which fits your particular situation.  After you have signed the proper affidavit with your full name, place this envelope into the mailing envelope. If this envelope is not returned in the mailing envelope, you ballot will not be counted. If mailing, affix the proper postage and place in the mail. It has to be received, in the mail, no later than 5:00 p.m. on election day.

An absentee voter can deliver his or her own ballot in person to the Town Clerk, during regular business hours, until the day before an election.  A voter's delivery agent may also drop off a completed absentee ballot at the respective polling location for the State General Election, November 8, 2022.  Absentee Ballots must be returned by 5:00 p.m.

Hand-delivered ballots may be dropped off by the voter or delivered by the voter's spouse, parent, sibling or child to the Town Clerk from whom it was sent. The Town Clerk shall not accept an absentee ballot from a family member unless the family member completes a form, provided by the Secretary of State, and the family member presents a government issued photo identification or has his or her identity verified by the Town Clerk. 

Hand-delivered absentee ballots will not be accepted at the Town Clerk's Office on election day. Voters who are present in the Town on election day must go to the polls to vote. If a delivery agent delivers an absentee ballot to the polls, they will be required to complete a form, provided by the Secretary of State, and the family member presents a government issued photo identification or has his or her identity verified by the Town Clerk

Ballots received by mail after 5 p.m. on election day will not be counted (per RSA 657:22).

Voters can track the status of their absentee ballot by visiting the Secretary of State's, State of New Hampshire, Voter Information Look-up Page and selecting the Absentee Ballot Search. https://app.sos.nh.gov.