EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

November 6, 2012

Extraordinary turnout reported in N.H.


The majority of voters remembered to bring their IDs, with only a small percentage having to fill out an affidavit, election officials said. The big problem was the large number of people registering to vote at the polls, causing delays.

“Everybody — and I mean everybody — has had their IDs,” said Bernard Campbell, assistant moderator at Mary Fisk School in Salem. “But there have been a lot of people registering to vote. There has been a boatload of them.”

At least 100,000 New Hampshire residents were expected to register to vote at the polls, according to Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan.

Scanlan said Monday that some voters were confused about the Voter ID Law, especially after a newspaper published a story last week that said the law would not be in effect yesterday.

Many voters interviewed at the polls said the new law was long overdue, including Scott Bourque of Hampstead.

“I came here two or three years ago — nobody asked for my ID,” he said. “I thought it was crazy. I think you should show your ID to be able to vote.”

Eric Cordeiro of Pelham also voiced his approval.

“I liked it better,” Cordeiro said. “Everybody should use the ID.”

Claire Breton of Windham had to retrieve her ID from her car, but she didn’t mind.

“I think this is the right thing to do,” she said.

Salem, Derry and Londonderry were among the towns reporting large numbers of people registering to vote.

Approximately 300 new voters signed up at Pinkerton Academy in Derry during the last few hours the polls were open. Londonderry registered some 1,200 new voters.

“It’s been busy,” Derry checklist supervisor Judy Strakalaitis said.

Turnout was steady throughout the day at most polling places, with voters lining up outside the door before the locations opened.

The largest numbers of voters came early in the morning or after 5 p.m., election officials said.

In Atkinson, traffic on Route 121 slowed to a crawl as voters flocked to the Atkinson Community Center before it closed.

Staff writers John Toole, Julie Huss, James Niedzinski and Duston Luca contributed to this report.

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