Update 8:07 PM: The total number of zoning ordinance ballots is 562, while the number of town officer ballots is 563. The difference is due to an absentee voter who returned only the town officer ballot.
Update 7:10 PM: With the polls closed, the preliminary count is 563 ballots (including 71 absentee ballots and excluding two spoiled ballots).
Election volunteers divide ballots into piles of 50. Then the ballots are checked and if any discrepancies are discovered, the pile is rechecked.
A spoiled ballot is defined in statute:
659:22 Spoiled Ballots. – If any voter spoils a ballot, he may receive others, one at a time, not exceeding 3 in all, upon returning each spoiled one. The ballots thus returned shall be immediately marked “cancelled” by the moderator over his signature and, at the close of the polls, shall be preserved as provided in RSA 659:95.
Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.
Tuftonboro residents have been arriving at the Town House all day to vote in the town election. Only two of the races are contested, the selectman’s seat –between incumbent Lloyd Wood and challenger Bob McWhirter — and two budget committee positions — a four-way contest between incumbent Helen Hartshorn, Barry Ennis, Chris Sawyer, and Tom Young.
At 2PM this afternoon about 450 ballots had been cast in person, according to Heather Cubeddu, the town clerk. In addition, 70 absentee ballots had been received by yesterday’s 5PM deadline. That means the turnout this year is already larger than it was last year.
Last year 373 total votes were cast in the selectman’s race, which was held during what was called winter storm stella. Many residents in town lost electric power and some roads, such as Sodom Road, were closed due to downed trees and power lines.