By PAULA TRACY, InDepthNH.org
CONCORD – After visiting workers in all 10 New Hampshire counties in a period of 24 hours, Democratic nominee for governor Dan Feltes voted Friday at the Concord City Clerk’s office.
Feltes said he would be voting to help support the “bright futures” of all citizens, particularly hard-working citizens who have been left behind by Republican leaders such as Gov. Chris Sununu and President Donald Trump.
The state Senator and Senate Majority Leader who won the primary over Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky, said in New Hampshire, there are three easy ways to vote this year and urged all residents to “make a plan to vote.”
As Feltes stepped to the lectern on a sidewalk outside Concord City Hall with a line of about 10 people waiting, socially distanced with masks on to get in to City Hall, some of those going by him said they had just cast ballots to support his candidacy.
Feltes said he normally votes in Concord’s Ward 7 but noted all city voters across the city and in other cities in the state can go to their City Clerk’s office, regardless of the ward, or to their Town Clerk’s office during their normal business hours, ask for a ballot, mark it, submit it and avoid the crowds on election day, Nov. 3.
Feltes had just come off a 24-hour tour that included a morning visit to Berlin at White Mountain Lumber, before casting his ballot. He also visited in the past 24 hours Saco River Clinic in Conway, B&B Offset Printing in Somersworth, Laconia Public Works, Beeze Tees in Marlborough, The Common Man in Claremont, a business roundtable at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, a UPS shift change in Nashua, and Mack’s Apples in Londonderry before his last stop, Concord City Hall.
He said he was “visiting workers, families and business owners, asking them what is going on in their lives and how we can make things better. That is what all this is all about to me: that fundamental belief that we are all in this together. That we work hard to lift each other up not tear people down. We fight to include more people in our Democracy and economy and not exclude them. And that means finally standing up for the working men and women of the state of New Hampshire.”
Feltes noted so many are struggling, particularly under the pandemic, and some of the folks he met in that 24 hours “are on the front lines of it.”
“We heard story after story from business owners and workers who don’t know what the next week will bring let alone the next day,” he said.
Will they be able to go to school? What will be the impact on their work? These, he said, are some of their concerns.
He said Sununu, who is running for re-election, opposed an increase in the $7.25 an hour state minimum wage, and like President Donald Trump opposes family medical leave insurance.
Sununu has said he supports the concept but what Democrats gave him to sign would amount to a tax, which he opposes. It was among a number of vetoes that halted Democratic progress in Concord, before the pandemic caused by COVID-19, which has claimed 449 lives as of Thursday.
Feltes also made comparisons of Sununu and Trump with opposing the Affordable Care Act, in the midst of a pandemic, when people need their insurance.
“Health care is on the ballot in this election,” Feltes said.
As a former legal aid lawyer, he said he fought for the rights of working citizens whose homes were being foreclosed, and fighting for workers is what he said he will do if elected to the “corner office” of the State House.
“So many of the same people are falling through the cracks now,” Feltes said.
He said Sununu is giving federal CARES Act relief money to his friends but those who are not getting it are hard-working people who he said are “taking it on the chin.”
Feltes said he would reject the $31,000 pay raise Sununu took from the state unless and until the state increases the minimum wage.
“Now I am going to vote,” Feltes said, leaving the lectern to stand in line.
You, too, can go to the clerk’s office and sign a document or request an absentee ballot in the mail and vote.
To vote ahead of the election, all voters age 18 and older need to do is check the box “COVID concerns” and get an absentee ballot in person or in the mail.
If handling the matter at home, make sure the completed ballot gets in by 5 p.m. on Election Day, Feltes said. Ballots can be hand delivered to your town or city hall, he said.
“And obviously, despite what Donald Trump has said you can also register and vote on election day, still in the state of New Hampshire… So we have three ways to vote. If you can, go down to city or town hall right now and go vote.”