Derry Town Moderator Margaret Ives has seen her town grow from paper ballots, a chore to count, to the current electronic voting machines. But one thing hasn’t changed, according to Ives: the need for citizens to get out and cast those ballots.
“We have the right to vote and we need to exercise it,” Ives said. “This is our town. And town elections matter.”
Derry will go to the polls March 11 to vote on several elected positions.
Two Town Council seats are open. Joshua Bourdon is running unopposed for the At-Large seat currently occupied by Brad Benson, who chose not to seek another term. David Fischer and Marc Flattes are running for the District 3 seat currently occupied by Neil Wetherbee, who is not running again. Both are three-year terms.
Margaret Ives is running unopposed for town moderator.
Six people are running for three open Derry Public Library trustee positions, each for three year-terms: incumbents Phyllis Howard and Dorothy Wiley; and M. “Jackie” Dempsey, Lynne Mann, James Thomas and Christina Mentus.
The two incumbents for two three-year terms as Taylor Library trustees are running unopposed: Ed Ciancio and Aimee Huntemann.
Kelly Mahony and Joel Olbricht are running for one three-year term as Trustee of the Trust Funds.
Renee Routhier, incumbent, and Janet Bhagat are running for one six-year term for Supervisor of the Checklist. Lorraine Routhier and Peg Mullins are running to complete the term of the late Roland Routhier.
Polling places are the Pinkerton Academy Gym, Districts 1 and 3; Calvary Bible Church, District 2; and Gilbert H. Hood Middle School, District 4. Voting hours are Tuesday, March 11, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The state Voter Identification Law mandates that each person wanting to vote have a photo ID or fill out an affidavit as a “challenged” voter. Affidavits are available on the town Web site under the Supervisors of the Checklist and also at the polls. Registration can also be done at the Town Clerk’s office Mondays, Tuesdays Thursdays and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Absentee ballots are also available at the Town Clerk’s office and on the Web site, www.derry.nh.us.
Of the town’s 20,115 voters registered at press time, 2 percent attended the School District Meeting in February. Renee Routhier, chairman of the Supervisors of the Checklist, said 10 to 15 percent typically vote at the polls in March.
Routhier and her fellow Supervisors are aggressive, going where the votes are. They do outreach to Pinkerton Academy for newly-minted 18-year-old prospective voters, and to Derry’s senior housing communities to help the elders fill out absentee ballots.
And though it makes more work for her and her crew, she’s thrilled to take same-day registration on election days. For the 2012 Presidential election, she saw 2,000 walk-ins. “I apologize if there were lines, but it’s absolutely worth it,” she said.
Lorraine Routhier, who has been working at the polls since 1952, said, “We are fortunate to be able to vote the way we do. It is an honor.”
Election results will be posted at www.nutpub.net on Wednesday morning, March 12. Because the Nutfield News will go to press for its March 13 edition before the polls close on March 11, full election coverage will be included in the March 20 edition.