With the presidential election behind us, I wanted to publicly recognize all of the volunteers who helped make Nov. 3 a successful election in Keene.
Almost 400 hours of volunteer assistance went to staffing our satellite office for absentee ballots and voter registrations. Their efforts contributed to the mailing out of 2,500 absentee ballots and the processing of nearly 4,500 returned ballots.
On Election Day, another 107 volunteers greeted voters entering the polling location, assisted with voter registrations, and opened up the outer envelopes of the absentee ballots for casting by the election officials. After the polls closed another group of volunteers were dispatched to the polls to help identify voter intent on the cast ballots and another group came to City Hall to count the voting marks on the official checklists.
Keene’s elections have historically benefited from citizen volunteers, but this year was unique with COVID-19. Several of the city’s elected and appointed officials chose not to work this election and, in many cases, our citizen volunteers were assigned statutory election responsibilities at the city’s polling locations.
In addition to this citizen volunteer effort, many city employees helped with the logistics of setting up the polling locations during this pandemic.
For those of you who helped us on Nov. 3, thank you again for your civic contribution to this important democratic process.
3 Washington St.
(This writer is Keene’s city clerk.)