Due to the high volume of absentee ballot requests for the November 3, 2020 NH General Election, the State of New Hampshire has authorized cities and towns to partially process absentee ballots before election day. The partial processing session for the City of Lebanon will begin at 8:30am on Friday, October 30, 2020 at Lebanon City Council Chambers in the temporary City Hall Offices located at 20 West Park St, Room 386.
This is a public process, however, due to COVID-19 space will be limited, therefore, the process will be aired LIVE via Microsoft Teams. Information on how to watch the meeting can be found at LebanonNH.gov/LIVE. Since acoustics and masks do present a challenge in being able to hear when ballots are rejected, the City Clerk's Office will notify any voter whose ballot has been rejected to allow them the opportunity to correct the situation and have their ballot cast. Also, at the end of the session, a list of names of all voters whose ballots were rejected will be read aloud.
The partial processing of absentee ballots will include the following steps:
- Election officials open the outer mailing envelope.
- The inner affidavit envelope (the envelope signed by the voter) will be removed and examined. This envelope will not be opened; the ballot will remain sealed inside until Election Day.
- The moderator will determine whether the affidavit envelope has been signed by the voter and/or the name and signature of a person who assisted a voter with disability written on the line for that purpose. If there is no signature or name on either line for the voter’s signature or the line for the person assisting a voter with a disability, OR if there is a clearly legible signature on the line for the voter’s signature that IS NOT the name of the voter, the ballot will be rejected by the Moderator.
- For ballots not rejected, the Moderator will publicly announce the name of the absentee voter and provide an opportunity for a challenger appointed by a political party, or any voter in the ward, to challenge the absentee voter. Please note, partially processed absentee ballots cannot be challenged on Election Day.
- If no challenge is made, the partial processing of the ballot will be noted on the checklist by way of a yellow highlighter and by putting a star after the voter’s name. However, the voter will not be marked off as having voted until Election Day.
- The inner affidavit envelope shall remain unopened and placed back in the outer mailing envelope. These ballots will be transported to the polls on Election Day to complete the process and be counted.
A live stream of the process will be available via Microsoft Teams with an operable chat function that will be monitored by staff. For information on how to access the live meeting, please visit LebanonNH.gov/LIVE. You may also appear in-person to observe the process; a mask will be required and social distancing encouraged.
The meeting will run from 8:30AM until completed. The complete processing will be recorded and made available online.
If you have any questions, please contact the Lebanon City Clerk’s office at 603-448-3054 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.