For Immediate Release
March 9, 2020
Kate Spiner, Director of Communications
email@example.com | 603-573-6103
David Scanlan, Deputy Secretary of State
Concord, NH – Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald and Secretary of State William M. Gardner issue information regarding COVID-19 as it relates to Tuesday, March 10, 2020, Municipal Elections.
Many municipalities will be holding elections and/or deliberative sessions tomorrow. State officials have received inquiries about elections in light of the COVID-19 issue.
On Friday, the Secretary of State distributed to all election officials guidance issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/risk-assessment.html). That guidance contains many techniques and precautions that can be implemented at the polling place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Secretary of State's office also distributed a Frequently Asked Questions document published by New Hampshire Public Health (https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/documents/covid-19-faq.pdf ). The information provides preventative actions election officials can take to operate polling places with reduced risk of exposure.
Thus far, New Hampshire has only four identified positive cases of COVID-19 in the state. Since the State Public Health Laboratories started testing for COVID-19 last week, the number of tests performed is increasing, but public health officials have not identified any broader community transmission.
Accordingly, New Hampshire Public Health is not recommending the cancellation of events at this time. They encourage people to continue with their everyday activities but take precautions to protect themselves against COVID-19 and the many other viruses circulating in New Hampshire this time of year, including influenza. Individuals have a role in helping protect themselves by staying home when they are sick, washing their hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, and practicing social distancing. Polling places have a role in prevention as well and are encouraged to follow the CDC guidance that was distributed this past weekend and is also available online.
Following the recommendations of the CDC and state public health officials can help election officials run safe elections. If you have specific questions, the Attorney General's Office encourages both the public and election officials to call its Election Hotline at 1-866-868-3703.
The Attorney General's Office will be operating the Election Day hotline from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Voters and Election Officials with concerns or questions are encouraged to call 1-866-868-3703. In the event a caller receives voicemail, they should leave a message and attorneys in the office will address each message received.
New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301