Hassan Delcares Victory With Razor-Thin Edge in U.S. Senate Race in N.H.

N.H. Gov. Maggie Hassan, the apparent U.S. Senator-Elect from the state of New Hampshire

The Democratic candidate in New Hampshire’s U.S. Senate race, Gov. Maggie Hassan, is declaring victory in the neck and neck, unofficial vote count against incumbent Republican Kelly Ayotte. At a news conference late Wednesday morning, Hassan indicated with as much as 99 percent of precincts reporting, she holds a minimum 600 vote lead over Ayotte. “This morning, there are only a few small towns left outstanding and I hope these remaining votes are quickly recorded. When they are, we are confident that our margins are large enough that we will maintain our lead. I am proud to stand here as the next United States senator from New Hampshire,” Hassan said.

Election Day 2016 is Finally Here; Turnout ‘Brisk’ as Voting Begins

State Rep. Diana DiZoglio, who represents the Bradford section of Haverhill, is one of two local lawmakers running unopposed in today's election. The other is state Rep. Brian S. Dempsey. Turnout this morning at polling places in Haverhill, for today’s presidential election, was “brisk and steady,” according to the Haverhill city clerk’s office. Morning commuters were among the first to turn out when polling locations for the city’s 21 precincts opened at 7 a.m. Polls will remain open until 8 tonight. Voters will help decide races up and down the ballot, from the next president to the next Essex County sheriff.

Voters Drive Students Out of Haverhill Schools on Election Day

Haverhill High School is one of several school buildings used as polling places on Election Day. While Haverhill voters Tuesday head to polling places, Haverhill public school students will have a day off from classes and the school department makes way for a professional development day for school staff. Haverhill Assistant Superintendent of Schools Jared Fulgoni explained to WHAV Monday with people coming and going to vote at several normally busy schools it made sense to hold a staff professional development day in place of classes. “When we lay out the school year calendar, we try to tie professional development to non-school days,” Fulgoni said. Meanwhile, voters Tuesday in greater Haverhill and beyond will, in addition to the presidential race, decide a handful of contested lower races for state offices including Essex County sheriff.

As Early Voting Comes to Close, City Braces for Heavy Election Day Turnout

The line of Haverhill voters waiting Thursday evening to cast an early ballot in the presidential election stretched from the basement of City Hall to the second floor. By the time the temporary polling place in City Hall’s basement closes Friday at 4 p.m., more than 15 percent of the city’s 46,516 registered voters will have cast ballots. City Clerk Linda L. Koutoulas, overseeing her first Haverhill election, declined to predict turnout for Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 8, but said judging from surrounding communities’ expectations, as much as 80 percent of the city’s electorate could come out to cast ballots. Koutoulas told WHAV Friday that 7,017 voters, or 15.1 percent, had cast ballots by 11 a.m., with five hours to go before the end of early voting.

Election Central: Coverage of Methuen, Haverhill Elections

For listening options, click to visit the Listen page. Marc Lemay anchors WHAV’s Election Central 2015 beginning at 7 p.m., tonight, when polls close in Methuen, while WHAV News Director Dana Esmel will be at Haverhill City Hall beginning at 8 p.m., when Haverhill polls close. Both Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini and Methuen Mayor Stephen N. Zanni are unopposed in their bids for re-election, moving attention to contested city council and school committee races. Haverhill’s city council race garnered great interest when incumbent Robert H. Scatamacchia chose not to seek re-election while he faces business legal problems. However, the entrance of former City Council President Michael J. Hart and incumbent School Committeeman Joseph J. Bevilacqua suggest voters will toss at least one incumbent in that race. Another question centers on who will be the top vote-getter in the Haverhill City Council race as custom—not rules—dictates he or she will become city council president.

Vargas Says City Could Do More to Improve Voter Turnout

Andy Vargas during the recent Candidates Forum, sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Greater Haverhill. City Council candidate Andy Vargas says city councilors need to play a role in improving the city’s less than 20 percent average voter turnout for municipal elections. Worse, Vargas says, 95.7 percent of eligible 18- to 29-year-old voters stay away from the polls. “Whereas most councilors’ Facebook and social media pages go inactive until election season, Vargas will continue to inform and engage the public on all mediums, not matter the season,” a press release distributed by his campaign reported this morning. “Further, the City of Haverhill has not yet put out the foldable signs reminding residents to vote tomorrow.

Rep. Dempsey’s Annual Pre-Election Breakfast Sunday

Then-U.S. Senator John F. Kerry greets Barbara L'Italien and Rep. Brian S. Dempsey at a prior Democratic City Committee breakfast. Rep. Brian S. Dempsey’s Annual Pre-Election Breakfast takes place Sunday, Nov. 1, from 9 to 11 a.m., at the Amvets Post 147, 576 Primrose St. The annual breakfast also provides residents with a last minute opportunity to meet local candidates for election. Haverhill Democratic City Committee Chairman William D. Cox Jr. said the event also provides an opportunity this year for those seeking nomination as Democratic ward chairs.

Councilor LePage ‘Meet and Greet’ Tonight

Haverhill City Councilor Colin F. LePage is having a “Meet and Greet,” tonight, Oct. 14, 6:30 p.m., at the Barking Dog Ale House, 77 Washington St., Haverhill. There will be hors d’oeuvres and cash bar. Suggested donation is $25 and senior citizens and veterans are admitted free. Others may make donations online at http://www.vote4colin.com/SUPPORT-COLIN.html.