Primary 2014: N.H. Voters Head To The Polls, But Some Towns Report Low Turnout

Sep 9, 2014

Election workers wait for voters at Concord's Ward 2
Credit Michael Brindley/NHPR

New Hampshire primary voters are headed to the polls to choose their candidates in several races, including the U.S. Senate.

At St. Peter’s Parish Hall in Concord, moderator John Williams says as is typically the case, a large cluster of voters showed up shortly after polls opened.

“New Hampshire voters are certainly early risers. They like to come and vote early. We also see a rush during lunch time and again during the evening between 6 and 7.”

Voter turnout has been low today in Portsmouth. That’s not surprising in a city that usually votes solidly Democratic combined with the lack of Democratic challengers this primary.

Poll moderator Petra Barstow says in 35 years working as a moderator for Portsmouth’s Ward 1, today has been the slowest.

"That's absolutely the smallest volume of turnout that I've ever seen in my years of elections."

Barstow says by 1 p.m., only 165 voters had turned out, in a ward of 2500 registered voters. 

At Charlotte Avenue School in Nashua, moderator Jerry Ryan says voters were trickling in throughout the morning.

“We probably have about 250 who have been through here already," he said around 9:30. "There’s about 5,800 registered voters in this ward. It’s been fairly slow but we expected that for the primary.”

One of those voters was Bob Taliento, who says there isn’t one single issue that brought him out.

“There’s concerns obviously with ISIS and the economy. But when you put the whole thing together, I’m more interested in getting people elected that are going to government in Washington and try to do a job. I’m very upset with the politicians. They go there for life. They do nothing.”

Along with the race for the Republican nominee in the U.S. Senate, voters will winnow out GOP candidates in the state’s two U.S. House seats and for governor.

There are also several contested primary races in the New Hampshire state Senate.

Some towns close polls by 7, but all polls will be closed by 8 tonight.