aerial shot outside Merrimack High School

Feb 9, 2016 7:57 PM

UPDATE: Polls remain open in Merrimack so voters in line can vote

MERRIMACK - The polls have been allowed to remain open past the 7 p.m. closing time after traffic back-ups during the day kept voters from getting inside the town's sole polling place.

Town Councilor Bill Boyd said the moderator, after consulting with the Secretary of State's office has not closed the polls at the high school as of 7:45 p.m.

A massive traffic jam throughout the day made it hard for voters to get up the roads leading to the high school parking lots.

A message from Senior Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlon outlined the strategy approved by his office for any polling place with long lines at closing time.

The moderator at each polling place will send an election official to mark the end of the line and those determined to be inside that line will be allowed to vote regardless of how long it takes. A police officer will be assigned to monitor the end of the line.

In Merrimack, a police officer is now monitoring the end of the line, Scanlon said.

This is not the first time Merrimack voters have had to deal with long lines to vote. In November of 2012, the town had a similar problem and kept the poll open 15 minutes later.

This came after the community went from having three polling places to a single polling place at the high school. At that time, community leader pointed to other towns that also had traffic congestion problems at the polls. Council members received more than 20 complaints at that time.

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