Merrimack Election Guide 2012

The candidates, the issues, and where and when to vote in the Nov. 6 General Election.

The primary elections are long gone and the winners are facing off in the upcoming elections.

Merrimack Patch has everything you need to know before you vote at Merrimack High School on Nov. 6. The polls are open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Also, don't forget that the voter registration deadline for New Hampshire is Saturday, Oct. 27, though people can register and vote on Election Day in this state.

(Click the names of the candidates to read more information from their profiles)

What To Know Before You Vote

Polling location change (yes, again). ALL Merrimack voters will head to Merrimack High School to cast their ballot on election day. This is a new location for all voters, there are no more precincts and bi-annual November elections only will be held at MHS.

Not going to be in town on Election Day? Here are guidelines from the town website for absentee ballot voting:

New Hampshire law requires that you vote in person at the polling place for your town or ward unless you:

  1. Plan to be absent on the day of the election from the city, town, or unincorporated place in which you are registered to vote.
  2. Cannot appear in public on election day because of observance of a religious commitment.
  3. Are unable to vote in person due to a disability.
  4. Cannot appear at any time during polling hours at your polling place because an employment obligation requires you to remain physically at work or to be in transit to or from work from the time the polls open until after the time the polls close.

Absentee ballots can be requested up until 5 p.m. the day before the election.  Ballots can be requested in person, through the mail, or by fax.  Please allow sufficient mailing time if requesting through the mail or fax.  Ballots must be returned either in person by the voter or through the mail.  Ballots returned in person must be delivered by 5:00 PM the day before the election.  Ballots can be accepted in the mail until 5:00 PM on election day.   Requests for absentee ballot should be mailed to: Town Clerk, Attn: Absentee Ballots, 6 Baboosic Lake Rd, Merrimack, NH 03054

For more information regarding elections and voting, please visit the NH Secretary of State's website at: http://sos.nh.gov/Elections.aspx

What you should know about voter ID

Town/Clerk Tax Collector Diane Trippett recently shared the information linked here regarding what you need to know as a voter on Election Day about New Hampshire's Voter ID requirements. Town Clerk Clears Up Voter ID Confusion.

What should you do if you see questionable activity on Election Day? The state has set up a Election Day Voting Hotline.

For a comprehensive look at our stories, letters, blogs, videos and photo galleries relating to the election, check out our Elections tab above or click here.

On the topic of Question 1:

Ballot Question: Amend the Constitution to Ban Income Tax?

VIDEO: Republicans Back Question 1

OP/ED: Vote No on Question #1

OP/ED: Taking A Closer Look at Question 1

OP/ED: Protect Our Constitution: Vote No on Question 1



  • Mitt Romney (R)
  • Barack Obama (D)
  • Gary Johnson (I)

NH Governor

  • D-Exeter
  • Ovide Lamontagne, R-Manchester
  • John Babiarz, Libertarian from Grafton

1st Congressional District

State Senate District 10

  • Peter Bragdon, R-Milford (unopposed)

House of Representatives, District 19 (8 seats)

Republican candidates

  • Richard Barry
  • Dick Hinch
  • Jeanine Notter
  • Tony Pellegrino
  • Lenette M. Peterson
  • Phil Straight
  • Kathleen Stroud
  • Joseph D. Thomas

Democratic candidates

  • Evan Fulmer
  • Brenda Ellen Grady
  • John J. Grady
  • Kim Kojak
  • Spencer Nozell
  • Jody Plante
  • Jo Ann Rotast
  • Jack Rothman

Hillsborough County Sheriff

James A. Hardy (R)

Bill Barry (D)

Hillsborough County Commissioner

Carol H. Holden (R)

Susan Ladmer (D)

County Attorney

Dennis Hogan (R)

Patricia M. LaFrance (D)

County Treasurer

David G. Fredette (R)

Shannon Bernier (D)

Register of Deeds

Pamela D. Coughlin (R)

Louise Wright (D)

*This Election Guide is being constantly updated and improved. See something we missed or have a news tip? Email: Carolyn.Dube@patch.com.

Follow Merrimack Patch on Facebook for additional elections coverage and news.

Justsaying October 03, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Apparently Mitt Romney is now less popular than… George W. Bush. That’s according to a new Bloomberg News poll, which finds that former President Bush has 46 percent favorable ratings and 49 percent unfavorable ratings among adults. By contrast, the current GOP presidential candidate Romney has a favorability rating of 43 percent and unfavorable ratings at 50 percent. President Barack Obama came in with higher favorability than both Republicans, racking up 52 favorable ratings and 44 percent unfavorables. Romney did, however, beat out Vice President Joe Biden‘s 42 percent net favorable ratings. The poll’s most favorable leader found was former President Bill Clinton, who polled at 64 percent favorable and 29 percent unfavorable. Coming in second was First Lady Michelle Obama, with 63 favorable and 29 unfavorable.
Rosemarie Rung November 04, 2012 at 08:38 PM
There's a rumor that one of the ballot inspectors has a husband who is on the ballot as a state representative candidate and that this is in violation of election law. Does anyone know if this is true?
Sharpie November 05, 2012 at 08:12 AM
Make a special note to remember to watch the Free and Equal Election Debate between third party candidates, Gov. Gary Johnson and Dr. Jill Stein to be aired tonight on Monday evening, Nov. 5th from 9:00 - 10:30 pm Eastern Time. Perform a worthwhile civic duty, and be certain to listen in on this historic debate so that you can make an informed decision on voting day. Third party candidates who will be on the ballot in most states deserve to be heard. http://freeandequal.org/?v=1
lynn christensen November 05, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Rosemarie - it is not true if a person is running for legislature then that person cannot be a ballot inspector We have had the question before and confirmed
Rosemarie Rung November 05, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Lynn, the rumor I heard is that a relative (not the candidate) was the ballot inspector. I would assume the candidate cannot be a ballot inspector. Thanks for responding, by the way!
lynn christensen November 05, 2012 at 06:04 PM
a relative of a candidate is a ballot inspector and that is legal. Inspectors have specific instructions that they are not to may any comment relative to candidates or issues as long as they are sitting at that table and there is another ballot inspector sitting at the same table who would notice if there was any inappropriate conversation and most likely report it.
MerrimackREZ November 05, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Don't vote for "Revenge' Vote for "Love of Country" - Mitt Romney will be our next President. Everyone VOTE....
Watts November 06, 2012 at 09:40 AM
Romney: "Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China" Queue it up at 46 seconds and watch... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcZr0UtLgkI Jeep CEO: "Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China" http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-30/chrysler-ceo-reiterates-jeep-suv-production-will-remain-in-u-s-.html Now if anybody tries to tell you that Romney is not lying to you to sneak his way into office, there is your proof that he is lying. I can't break it down any more simply for people. Romney is a deceptive used car sales man. He will tell you whatever he thinks will get him what he wants. He tells the base that he is a extreme conservative and makes all the promises that the fringe extreme wants and then turns to the voters and says that he is a bi-partisan. These are not mutually inclusive positions. He is lying to somebody. Are you ready to risk if he is lying to you?
MMK_townie November 06, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Who's idea was it to go with one polling station in MMK? Traffic was unreal with NO traffic cops!!
Gary G. Krupp November 06, 2012 at 03:06 PM
The traffic was a little heavy but I thought they did a great job overall. My wife and I went at bout 8:00 am, drove right up to a close parking spot and despite the many people coming in and going out, the people flow was well-planned. There were police details at the entrances/exits for the school to direct traffic and keep it moving. We were in and out in less than 10 mins even after showing an ID. I say bravo to Lynn Christensen and Co. for a job well-done so far. Good luck with the rest of the day!
SJ November 06, 2012 at 05:43 PM
I cannot believe they closed all voting sites in Merrimack except for the school, creating a huge bottleneck in the voting process. I know of several people that used to vote at St. John Newman's during their lunch break but will not have the time to drive to the school and wait through crowds and traffic caused by cramming the whole town into a school. And on a school day day no less with buses and students coming and going. I wonder what the turn out will be in comparison with the last election, when there were more voting sites. I also wonder how badly this will skew election results. Do the candidates realize that they are losing votes because they are losing voters? Can a candidate challenge results based on people not being able to cast their vote due to this problem?
Carolyn Dube (Editor) November 06, 2012 at 06:00 PM
A quick note, SJ, there is no school today. And from everything I have heard thus far, it's gone pretty smoothly. Candidates cannot challenge a result because they think their support didn't come out to vote. It's been widely noticed that this is the only polling place.
Sandra Dahlfred November 06, 2012 at 06:01 PM
I just moved to Merrimack, took a day off from work to register. I've never missed voting in a national election since 1972 but had to leave the poll this morning due to lack of access. There was NO place to park and no one was managing the traffic flow. Being unfamiliar with the town I didn't know where I could legitimately park and walk to the school. I would have been willing to walk and stand out in the cold but I didn't have the option. A town that doesn't care enough about its citizens to provide adequate facilities for exercising such an important right is one I'll have to think twice about remaining in.
Laura November 06, 2012 at 06:23 PM
There is no school today
MMK_townie November 06, 2012 at 08:08 PM
It was NOT smooth from 6:30 am to 8;30am. No parking, no traffic cops, no organization in the school. NOT FUN this morning!! Wait until after 5pm...
Gary G. Krupp November 06, 2012 at 08:28 PM
I had a different experience. I was there at 8:10 and there was a traffic cop at Baboosic & O'Gara directing traffic in and one at the exit of the MHS parking lot getting people out on McElwain. I was able to drive up, grab a parking spot that was about 10 spots from the front (and we walked past at least 5 other open spots). There were a lot of people going in and out of the building but the setup was organized and there were no backups. My wife and I were already registered to vote so we just walked right in, showed our ID and proceeded to vote and leave. The whole process took less than 15 mins including parking.
MMK_townie November 07, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Lovely...poles staying open later now due to traffic. Someone will have to answer to the cost savings now. Is that Lynn we need to contact? Who's idea was this???? We need to speak up people!!
Rosemarie Rung November 07, 2012 at 12:16 AM
I think it was an idea worth trying, but the access into the high school complex is very limiting and it didn't take much for traffic to back up onto DW Highway. I went at 11:30 am, and the traffic was backed up onto DW, but once I got onto McElwain, it was smooth sailing, and very efficient inside the building. Unfortunately, I think people see the back up on DW, and assume it's that congested all the way through the process and they bail out.
nhwoods November 07, 2012 at 10:59 AM
Absolute horror show at 7am when polls opened. No traffic control, parking on right coming into school had several guardrail dividers that were confusing causing people to pull in only to find out they had to back up and get out to try and find another space. Total confusion as there were no signs and noone was directing traffic. Took more that an hour to vote and then the fun began trying to get back out of the parking lot. Again still no signs and no traffic control as to how to exit so everyone all assumed that you had to turn left and go back out the same way they came in (a right turn led to two additional exits from the school had someone been directing traffic). Very frustrating to sit in a parking lot where if signs to alternate exits were posted and people were directing traffic much of the confusion could have been avoided. This was not a pleasant experience. A few signs and some people directing voter traffic could have made this situation much better for voters.


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