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COVID-19 Precautions Will Be in Place at Polls for State Primary Election, Tuesday, Sept. 8

The State Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 – the day after Labor Day. Polls in Nashua will open at 6 am and close at 8 pm. Nashua has the longest polling hours in the state. In other NH cities and towns, polls may open later and/or close earlier. Voters in other communities should check with their local city or town clerk to determine the hours that polls will be open.

Precautions are being taken to provide for the health and safety of voters, poll workers, and election officials. Federal funds supported the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for use at the polls for this federal election. NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management assisted with the delivery of these items to the City Clerk in coordination with the City’s Director of Emergency Management.

Two years ago, 368 voters cast absentee ballots in Nashua’s Ward 2 during the State Primary Election. This year, the City Clerk has received approximately 5,000 requests for absentee ballots primarily due to concerns about COVID-19. In comparison, in 2018, 11,012 ballots were cast citywide during the State Primary Election. As such, voter turnout at the polls on election day will be significantly reduced from the volume of voters that went to polling sites in 2018.

Items provided by the State for election officials:

  • KN-95 masks for election officials. One mask per election official for both elections, to be stored in a paper bag between uses.
  • Surgical masks for election officials working behind sneeze shields who prefer the lighter mask. These are one-use masks.
  • Face shields for election officials who are not working behind sneeze guards.
  • Gloves.
  • Gowns for election officials who are not working behind sneeze guards and who will be assisting voters in close proximity.
  • Hand sanitizer: small containers to position behind the sneeze guards at various tables and for use as needed.
  • Sneeze guards to create a barrier between voters and election officials.
  • Sanitizing wipes in jugs.
  • Accessible Voting System: alcohol wipes to sanitize the keyboard and surfaces of the system before and between uses and disposable earphone covers to be replaced between users.
  • Social Distancing signs.
  • Painter’s Tape to mark social distancing.

Items provided by the State for voters:

  • Surgical masks for voters who are not wearing their own masks.
  • Gloves.
  • Hand sanitizer: gallon jug positioned after the ballot box for voters to sanitize as they exit the polling place.
  • Pencils: for a voter to mark his or her ballot and then keep to avoid re-using or sanitize the writing instrument after each use.
  • Paper mats for writing surface: one-use, disposable paper mat for each voter.

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