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Roxanne Wilson presents her ID to Marie Caruso at the Senior Center. (Jon Tripp Photo))

Change in polling places, new Voter ID law taken in stride in Salem

SALEM - Voters navigated the polling places easily during the Sept. 11 primary, despite a few changes.

Some voters in Salem had to adjust to a change in polling places and a dry run of the voter ID law. The primary was the first election held in town since changing from six polling places to four.

The Barron School and the Town Hall were not used as polling places. Former Soule School voters were moved to the Fisk School and those used to voting in the municipal offices were asked to vote at the Senior Center. The changes weren't posted to the Secretary of State's website, but it didn't pose a problem for residents, according to Town Clerk Susan Wall.

"It went very well," Wall said.

Supervisors sent postcards to all affected voters the week before the election, Wall said.No one arrived at the Town Hall expecting to vote there. The voter ID practice run also went well, with very few people showing up without proper ID. The practice was helpful, Wall said.

"It will make a smooth transition for the presidential election in November," Wall said.

Pelham Town Clerk Dorothy Marsden said voters there were agreeable to showing identification. With about 1,080 ballots cast only 60 people did not have identification and were given informational packets on what will be required in November, she said.

"It was very good" she said.

In Windham, 91 people didn't have ID out of 1,701 ballots cast.

The majority of the public was in favor of the practice run and glad to receive the information on the new legislation, said Town Clerk Nicole Merrill.

"We're not denying anyone the right to vote, we're just required to do this now." Merrill said.

Merrill is hoping to raise public awareness of the new legislation between now and November, she said.

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