By John Suayan | The Center Square
New Hampshire officials have started mailing absentee ballots to city and town clerks for the Nov. 3 general election; as of Sept. 22, the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office received nearly 134,000 absentee ballot requests, according to WMUR 9.
COVID-19 concerns have caused a significant increase in that number, with state officials having eased absentee voting requirements when the coronavirus outbreak made registered voters reconsider casting their ballots in person.
Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan told WMUR 9 that once the clerks receive the absentee ballots, they can send them to voters. The voters, in turn, must complete their ballots and send them back as early as possible.
“This is by far the earliest that the Secretary of State’s Office has delivered absentee ballots to the cities and town,” Scanlan told WMUR.
The Concord Monitor reported that many of those who received their absentee ballots face a caveat: they cannot double-check to see if the state received their vote because officials do not know their date of birth.
Scanlan told the Monitor that voters long ago were not required to provide their birthday when registering to vote in towns and cities.
“When New Hampshire transferred the voter data from town and city lists to the state database, registered voters were not required to fill out new registration forms with birth dates,” he told the Concord Monitor. “Instead, voters without a recorded birth date were given a default date [of 1964].”
If voters want to check their ballot status, they must provide their town, name and date of birth.
Scanlan said anyone who is having trouble tracking their absentee ballot should contact the Secretary of State’s office.