"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Must the Select Board be in Attendance at all Elections?

Yes and no. This question came up in a couple of Select Board meetings this past election cycle. Personally, I enjoy ballot day duties because it is an opportunity to meet people throughout the day and it is a civic responsibility to be a part of assuring that the voting was legal and proper.( The Fire Department Auxiliary also provide a great lunch for all workers.) Plus in certain elections, the NH Constitution requires it.

This according to the NH Municipal Association:
"Pt. 2, Art. 32 of the NH Constitution requires the attendance of the Select Board during voting and vote tabulation at a State General Election. For primary elections, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office takes the position that a quorum of the Select Board must be present at all times. The New Hampshire Municipal Association (NHMA) does not share that view because NHMA believes that the duty to attend imposed on the Select Board stated in Pt. 2, Art. 32 of the New Hampshire Constitution only applies to the State General Election. Note also that where the presence of a select board member who is on the ballot is necessary to establish a quorum of the Select Board, the select board member may be present at the polling place, provided he or she is not within the guardrail."

[Art.] 32. [Biennial Meetings, How Warned, Governed, and Conducted; Return of Votes, etc.]
The meetings for the choice of governor, council and senators, shall be warned by warrant from the selectmen, and governed by a moderator, who shall, in the presence of the selectmen (whose duty it shall be to attend) in open meeting, receive the votes of all the inhabitants of such towns and wards present, and qualified to vote for senators; and shall, in said meetings, in presence of the said selectmen, and of the town or city clerk, in said meetings, sort and count the said votes, and make a public declaration thereof, with the name of every person voted for, and the number of votes for each person; and the town or city clerk shall make a fair record of the same at large, in the town book, and shall make out a fair attested copy thereof, to be by him sealed up and directed to the secretary of state, within five days following the election, with a superscription expressing the purport there of.


Anonymous said...

If every town employee gets the day off (with pay?)should they not be required to attend along with them. goose and gander here!

Anonymous said...

What! Not every town employee gets the day off with or without pay. Get the facts straight.

Anonymous said...

Then who did and why? I feel the library and transfer station should have been manned Saturday. Town meeting is not a holiday for most non resident taxpayers.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

The library was not closed for Town meeting. Only the transfer station was closed for town meeting.