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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Hudson officials praise voting process; Report positive feedback from community members

By DEREK EDRY
Staff Writer

HUDSON - The Hudson Board of Selectmen and municipal police department agreed last week the in-town voting during the Nov. 8 presidential election went very smoothly.

Hudson Police Chief Jason Lavoie and Capt. William Avery said the feedback about Hudson's election process has been positive following the high turnout of the 2016 race. ...

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HUDSON - The Hudson Board of Selectmen and municipal police department agreed last week the in-town voting during the Nov. 8 presidential election went very smoothly.

Hudson Police Chief Jason Lavoie and Capt. William Avery said the feedback about Hudson's election process has been positive following the high turnout of the 2016 race.

"I've received numerous comments, not only from people that live in town but also from people outside of our community ... and their family and friends were talking about how impressed they were with the way things went," Lavoie said during the Nov. 22 meeting.

Lavoie said he thinks that this year's process was smoother than that of previous election cycles.

"This is a process we've been working on for the last three elections, narrowing it down and narrowing it down, and I think, with this last election, efforts from Capt. Avery, as well as Jay Twardosky from the (Hudson) Highway Department ... they both did an outstanding job planning this," he said.

Lavoie also thanked the police force and the highway department for the hours they put in directing traffic.

"That is not an easy task to do for hours," he said.

Avery noted a few things that occurred this election that he would like to avoid next time.

One thing in particular that he said took him off guard was the amount of people who were lined up at 5:30 a.m. at the Hudson Community Center at 12 Lions Ave., the town's sole voting location, because they thought voting opened at 6 a.m.

"So in the future, we will have police officers and public works employees there hopefully by 6," Avery said.

Nevertheless, he said the majority of early morning voters were processed and the parking lot was cleared within an hour.

Board Chairman Thaddeus Luszey echoed Avery's comments about how quickly voters were processed.

"That was the most we have ever processed in an hour - about 1,900," Luszey said, agreeing the voting process went well. "We came upon a recipe that works, but just needs a little more fine tuning."

Selectman Roger Coutu praised the town's election performance, but also offered a concern.

"The one thing that concerned me was the amount of police on hand. What would have happened if we had an emergency?" Coutu questioned.

Lavoie said that the town did have extra staff prepared to respond to other events in town and that the Hudson Police Department was also prepared to contact nearby departments for assistance, if necessary.

Coutu also said he thinks the town should consider establishing a second polling location for the next election.

Selectwoman Patricia Nichols delivered praise for the town's performance during election day, as well.

"Everybody was smiling ... everyone just kind of went along with being nice to each other, and that's a credit to our town, too," she said.

Derek Edry can be reached at 594-1243, dedry@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_Derek.