Bonnie Winona MacKinnon, Town and School Moderator
On Tuesday, June 8, 2021 Nottingham voters will vote at the Nottingham School. This will be different voting than ever before for several reasons. First is because of COVID, the traditional voting for town officers was postponed until now. With that delay, current office holders remain in position until this election. Second, because at the March 2020 Town Meeting, SB2 was voted in. As result, on April 17, 2021, Nottingham, the town, held its first ever Deliberative Session (DS). In contrast to the traditional annual town meeting, which the town had had for 298 years, DS could discuss and amend the Warrant Articles (WA) but they could not be voted upon. Thus, historically all town Warrant Articles which would have been decided at a Town Meeting, are now on the town ballot.
Here is the Town Ballot with both candidates for town positions and all 21 Warrant Articles. But that is only half of the actual voting ballots. Voters will then turn to the School Ballot. Here again voters will vote for both school positions and 7 school Warrant Articles. Those are the actual ballots folks will see on June 8. But what will be the voting procedures that day?
To learn more about the actual election process that day, June 8, this reporter sat down with the school and town moderator, Bonnie Winona MacKinnon, Wednesday morning, May 26, 2021 in the Nottingham Town Hall. MacKinnon is the chief election officer for Nottingham. She says this and all town elections follow New Hampshire and Federal laws. The moderator has authority to mandate mask wearing per the NH Constitution and the Governor’s Executive Order regarding 2021 town elections. Masks will be required inside the school and polling places. Hence, masked voters may enter and vote between 7 AM and 7 PM. But what about those voters without masks? She said they may use the Accessible Voting area and vote outside via absentee ballot. That can be done all day between 7 AM to 7 PM as well as according MacKinnon.
She added there would be no food available for election workers nor voters. However, community groups could set up a table outside the school. Any group wishing to have a table must contact her to get permission to have one. Community members staffing these table must wear masks.
She continued to outline state law concerning electioneering aka folks trying to persuade people to vote for a candidate or Warrant Article. Campaigns may use the electioneering area outside the school. The law stipulates that voters must be able to walk along a corridor a minimum of 10 feet wide without being harassed by campaigners if they wish in order to vote. Folks engaged in electioneering must wear masks and remain in a designated area. If they wish, they may hold signs and or hand out literature. Signs may not be stuck in the ground. Literature must not be distributed in the parking area. She looks forward to a fair and good election on June 8. For those seeking an absentee ballot prior to June 8th, the information is here.