Some Volunteers Barred From Working Polls

Town Moderator Peter Griffin kept those who endorsed candidates from volunteering.

A few residents who endorsed candidates before the March 13 election were not allowed to volunteer as ballot clerks at the Windham High School poll center.

One of those residents, State Rep. Mary Griffin, said that she has been serving off and on as a volunteer since 1972.

She endorsed several candidates before the election, including Shawn Foster, Paul Therrien, Carolyn Therrien, Walter Kolodziej and John Alosso.

She said she has endorsed candidates before, and there has never been a problem.

"I'm an ethical person, and always have been," Griffin said.

Town Moderator Peter Griffin said that he made his decision due to the tenor surrounding this year's election.

"I wanted to create the image that it was going to be a fair and impartial election," he said.

Mary Griffin said that a few who endorsed candidates this year were being kept from the polls while others were allowed to volunteer.

Peter Griffin clarified that those were actually elected officials, such as Selectman Kathleen DiFruscia, who endorsed a few candidates including fellow board members Roger Hohenberger and Ross McLeod.

"I cannot prohibit an elected official," Peter Griffin said.

He added that he understood that Mary Griffin was the most vocal about being kept out, but said that they had never spoken about it.

"I would have told her it's universal across the board," he said.

Peter Griffin said that there were a few people disappointed with his decision, but said that there is a policy that the election officials review protocol each year, and the rule could change back for 2013.

There was no RSA, according to Griffin, to keep him from making his decision.

Nolan Picard March 15, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Wow patch, this is news worthy? The only thing I can comment on is the fact that she would make a big deal about this. Of all people, she should know what was inappropriate or not and then respect what decisions that the official made. Since she's worked with elections for a long time, she would hopefully understand why the decision was made. Its clear he wanted to make sure that the public didn't perceive anybody affiliated with a candidate. I heard that there were several people that were told they couldn't work too, so it was't singling anybody out. What I thought was interesting was that when I put my ballot in the machine, phil lociatto was standing there too. I got a little curious and and saw that selectman had to be at every election, its in the nh constitution. Wouldn't mary know this?
Barbara Coish March 15, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Personally I was not upset at all regarding not being able to help Nicole that day. I helped her earlier when she needed assistance getting ready for Tuesday..I was far happier standing in the sun that afternoon. It was a wonderful election result and Peter's decision to keep some of us away from appearing to present a conflict was absolutely correct. Barbara Coish
Debbie Mackenzie March 15, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Even though I love helping as a ballot clerk, I'm sure that was the reason why I was told, "all set", as well. But I'm not offended.
Michael Ryan March 15, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Thank you for the feedback on this article Nolan, Barbara and Debbie. Especially great to hear from the additional voices of those who have volunteered in the past.


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