Comtois Holds Barnstead for GOP

BARNSTEAD — Republican Barbara Comtois handily topped Democrat Bruce Marriott 1,471 to 979 to win the seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives held by her husband Guy for the past three terms.

French Edges Hosmer in Senate District 7

LACONIA — Republican Harold French of Franklin edged Andrew Hosmer of Laconia by a mere 13 votes to deny the incumbent Democrat a third term in the New Hampshire Senate.

French carried six of the ten ten municipalities in District 2, including the city of Franklin, to tally 13,865 votes while Hosmer took the city of Laconia and three towns in polling13,852 votes.

Hosmer said Wednesday that he will request a recount. State law entitles any candidate to request a recount if the difference between the winner and loser is less than 20-percent. However, the candidate requesting the recount must pay a fee, which rises as difference increases. If the difference is less than 1 percent the fee is $50, but doubles if the difference is between 1 and 2 percent and doubles again if the the difference is between 2 and 3 percent. If the difference is more than 3 percent, the fee is $200 plus costs set by the Secretary of State.

Two years ago the shoe was on the other foot when Kathleen Lauer-Rago requested a recount after losing the Senate race to Hosmer by 132 votes. The recount confirmed Hosmer's victory and added 23 votes to his winning total.

Hosmer carried five of the six wards in Laconia, where his margin over French was 372 votes, and won Gilford by 117 votes. as well as Canterbury and Andover in Merrimack County by 176 and 226 votes respectively. Although French won Franklin by just 79 votes, took Belmont by 265 votes, Northfield by 136 votes. Boscawen by 127, Salisbury by 95 votes and Webster by 92 votes.

The request for a recount must be submitted no later than the Friday following the election; that is, by November 11. The Secretary of State must schedule the recount to begin no later that the Wednesday following the deadline for submitting the request, which would be November 16.

French could not be reached for comment.

Heavy turnout for tough choices at Laconia polls

11-08 Meredith vote signs


Lorraine, Sandra and Dave Connor campaign outside the Meredith polls, holding signs they called "The Wall." (Michael Kitch/Laconia Daily Sun)


LACONIA — Seldom if ever have more voters been so dissatisfied with the candidates for the presidency, yet seldom if ever have so many voters been so eager to vote for or against them.

"What a couple of people to vote for!" grumbled one elder after voting in Ward 4. "How are you going to make up your mind? We don't have a choice."

Election officials at all six wards in the city reported heavy voting from the moment the polls opened. Tom Brown, the moderator in Ward 6, said the parking lot at the Leavitt Park House was full at 7 a.m. and a line of voters stretched from the from door, across the lot and down Elm Street. More than 200 ballots were cast in the first hour and nearly a third of 2,158 voters in the ward had voted before 11 a.m. And there was a line out the door again at 6:30 p.m.

Chris Reynolds, a selectman in Ward 4 said that "There was a big early-morning rush," and by 11:20 a.m. 515, again nearly a third of the voters on the checklist, had voted. At the same time, 63 newly registered voters had been counted with the expectation that the number would top the 130 registered in 2012.

In Ward 3, Selectman Mark Condodemetraky counted 750 ballots, representing 45 percent of the registered voters, shortly before 1 p.m. registrations had been counted.

City Clerk Mary Reynolds said that by 5:30 p.m. 800 votes had been cast in Ward 5, the smallest of the six with 1,379 voters, and, with only 50 ballots left, she delivered another 300. Voting in Ward 2, Reynolds said, was steady throughout the day, "but not crazy."

Reynolds said that altogether "It was a very smooth day." She said that questions were raised when one person appeared in a T-shirt reading "Make America Great," in apparent violation of the statute forbidding wearing clothing bearing the candidates' names or campaign slogans at the polls. However, since the word "again" was missing and no candidate was named, no action was taken.

In Meredith, moderator Steve Nedeau said close to 100 voters were waiting at door when the polls opened at 7 a.m. and voting "has been stead all day long. By 3:15 p.m. 2,521 ballots had been cast, which together with some 600 absentee ballots, amounted to nearly 60 percent of the 5,301 of the registered voters in the town. "I'm pretty damn sure we're going to have a record turnout," Nedeau said.

For the diehard supporters of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump the election has been nothing less than a crusade with nothing less than fortune, future and fate of the country at stake. In Meredith, Jackson Williams, president of the senior class at Inter-Lakes High School, held a pole bearing signs for the Democratic candidates at the top of the ticket from 10 a.m.

"It's been a good day," he said, adding that he enjoyed volunteering for the party throughout the campaign season.

Likewise, a Trump supporter calling herself only Lorraine stood with two of her compatriots to form a rank of five signs. "This is the wall," she said. "This is the beginning of the wall. Win or lose," she continued, the movement is going to continue."

But, many voters shared the sentiment of Katy Stone, a manager The Lakehouse at Church Landing, who when asked if she welcomed the conclusion of the campaign replied, "Oh, God, yes!" Remarking on the negativity of the campaign, she said "It was stressful to watch the ads. I didn't think they played nice." Several others said they had foresaken their customary television channels for Netflix or cable channels running uninterrupted movies to avoid the barrage of political advertising.

"I take voting very seriously," said Gerald Knight, a retired teacher voting in Ward 4 in Laconia, "but I'm saddened at the choice at the top of the ticket. He described Clinton as "untrustworthy" and said Trump "has a mouth that won't stop," and said that he cast a write-in vote "not for Donald Duck."

Perhaps the anguish of the choice many voters faced was best expressed by a Meredith voter who said that his daughter called to ask after his health, "because the last time I voted for for a Democrat, I had a heart attack."