Home » Departments » City Clerk » Voter Registration and Elections » Voting During COVID-19

Voting During COVID-19

Absentee Ballots are now available

  • Absentee Ballots for the September 8, 2020 Primary are now available. Sample ballots are available to view online or at the City Clerk’s Office.
  • Any questions about absentee voting can be directed to the City Clerk’s Office by calling 603-624-6455 or via email at cityclerk@manchesternh.gov

About Absentee Voting

Any qualified voter can vote by absentee in New Hampshire. To qualify, you must not be able to appear in-person on Election Day due to:

  • Concern for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
    Note: This is a new designation that currently is only applicable to 2020 elections on September 8 (Primary) and November 3 (General)
  • Physical disability
  • Religious observance
  • Absence from City on day of an election
  • Employment obligations. For the purpose of absentee voting, the term "employment" shall include the care of children and infirm adults, with or without compensation.

In addition, an update to NH RSA 657:1, states that when the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning, blizzard warning, or ice storm warning for election day, certain individuals will be permitted to vote by absentee ballot on the Monday immediately prior to the election for the following circumstances:

  • A person who is elderly, infirm, or has a physical disability and would otherwise vote in person but has concerns for their safety traveling in the storm.
  • A person who anticipates that school, child care, or adult care will be canceled and would otherwise vote in person but will need to care for children or infirm adults.

Voting During COVID-19

There are multiple, safe ways individuals can vote during the 2020 elections amid the COVID-19 global pandemic.

  1. Absentee voting in-person at City Hall
    Individuals can vote in-person at City Hall during normal business hours, Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
     
  2. Absentee voting via USPS
    Individuals can request absentee ballot applications from the City Clerk’s Office. Official Absentee Ballot Requests can be obtained by:
    1. Downloading or printing it from an electronic device
    2. In-person at the City Clerk’s Office (One City Hall Plaza)
    3. Delivered via USPS. To have an absentee ballot application delivered, individuals should contact the City Clerk’s Office by phone or email (624-6455 or cityclerk@manchesternh.gov)
    4. While anyone may return another voter’s absentee ballot application to the City Clerk’s office, absentee ballots can only be handed to the voter or mailed to voters, as a result of New Hampshire Law 657:15
       
  3. Voting in-person on Election Day
    1. Polling locations in Manchester are open on Election Day from 6:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m.
    2. Find your Manchester polling location
    3. Every Manchester polling location will be set up to adhere to social distancing, and all staff will wear adequate personal protective equipment. Everyone voting at their polling location in-person will be asked to wear a face covering.

How to Complete Your Ballot

Your absentee ballot will come with two envelopes: an affidavit envelope and a return envelope. Please carefully read and follow those instructions to complete your ballot.

  1. Completing the Ballot
    Vote for no more than the number specified for each race. For example, you can only vote for one person for Governor and should only fill in the oval for the candidate you want to vote for on the ballot or as a write-in. If you fill in more than one oval for Governor, your vote will not count.
     
  2. Affidavit Envelope
    Once you complete your ballot, place it in the Affidavit Envelope and seal it. Please sign one of the two affidavits on that envelope that best suits your situation. If you have a disability and received assistance in completing your ballot, please have your assistant sign the Affidavit Envelope as well. If your signature is missing, the ballot will be challenged, which means it does not get counted. Voters whose ballots are challenged are notified shortly after the election.
     
  3. Return Envelope
    After you place your ballot in the Affidavit Envelope, sign the envelope and seal it, place the Affidavit Envelope inside the Return Envelope. If you have any documents which need to be returned, such as voter registration material, please place those in the Return Envelope as well (not in the Affidavit Envelope). Seal your Return Envelope and if mailing, affix postage. 

Returning Absentee Ballots

Absentee ballots can only be returned by mail, in-person by the voter, or by a delivery agent. 

Mail: Please mail to City Clerk’s Office, 1 City Hall Plaza, Manchester, NH 03101

In-Person: You may return your completed ballot to the City Clerk’s Office Monday through Friday, 8:00AM to 5:00PM. Everyone who enters City Hall is asked to wear a face covering and adhere to social distancing measures. When you return your ballot, a staff member will ask for your photo identification (see NH RSA 657:17-a). If you are a delivery agent, you will be asked to complete a return form.

Delivery Agent: The following people are considered to be a delivery agent, per NH RSA 657:17:

  • The voter’s spouse, parent, sibling, child, grandchild, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, stepparent or stepchild;
  • Nursing home administrator licensed pursuant to RSA 151-A:2, or a nursing home staff member designated in writing by the administrator to deliver ballots;
  • The residential care facility administrator, or residential care facility staff member designated in writing by the administrator to deliver ballots;
  • The person* assisting a blind voter a voter with a disability who has signed a statement on the affidavit envelope acknowledging assistance. *This person cannot deliver more than 4 absentee ballots.

Your delivery agent will be asked to complete a return form and show photo identification in order to deliver your ballot.

Important Deadlines

Day before Election Day (Primary - September 7; General - November 2): Absentee ballots will be accepted by mail, in-person by the voter, or by a delivery agent through 5:00PM on the day before Election Day. (NOTE: The City Clerk’s Office will be open on Labor Day, Monday, September 7 from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. to accept delivered absentee ballots)

Election Day: Absentee ballots will be accepted by mail or delivery agent until 5:00PM on Election Day at the absentee voter’s polling location or at the City Clerk’s Office.

Overseas Citizens & Uniformed Service Members & Their Dependents

If you are temporarily out-of-the-country or serving in the military or you are the dependent of someone who is in the military, you can obtain an absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The FPCA application serves as both an absentee ballot request and a voter registration document. The application can be returned to our office by mail, fax, or email: cityclerk@manchesternh.gov

Voters who complete this form have the choice of receiving their ballots by email, mail or fax. Depending on your circumstances, you will receive a full Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) ballot or a Federal Office Only UOCAVA ballot.

  • Requesting Emailed or Faxed Ballot
    If you receive your ballot by email or fax, you will also be sent a UOCAVA oath and directions for completing and returning your ballot. You must return your ballot by mail, even if you received it by fax or email. Please be sure to print "Absentee Ballot Enclosed" on your outer envelope. Shipping providers such as FedEx and UPS can be utilized.
  • Requesting Mailed Ballot
    You will receive your ballot by mail along with instructions and 2 envelopes: UOCAVA Affidavit Envelope and Return Envelope. The ballot must be returned by mail by 5:00PM on Election Day. Shipping providers such as FedEx and UPS can be utilized.

Track the Status of Your Ballot

Any absentee voter can use the State of New Hampshire Voter Information Look-up website to check on the status of their absentee ballot. The website will show the date the City Clerk’s office received your application, the date your absentee ballot was mailed to you and the date the absentee ballot was received back by the Clerk’s Office. Information on the site is updated every 24 hours.