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NH secretary of state predicts record number of ballots cast

November 2, 2020 GMT
Manchester, N.H. residents stand in the first-floor corridor of City Hall as they wait to vote absentee in-person or register to vote outside the city clerk's office in advance of Tuesday's election, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Manchester. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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Manchester, N.H. residents stand in the first-floor corridor of City Hall as they wait to vote absentee in-person or register to vote outside the city clerk's office in advance of Tuesday's election, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Manchester. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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Manchester, N.H. residents stand in the first-floor corridor of City Hall as they wait to vote absentee in-person or register to vote outside the city clerk's office in advance of Tuesday's election, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Manchester. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner expects a record number of ballots to be cast in Tuesday’s election.

Gardner on Monday predicted at least 800,000 ballots would be cast, topping the record of 755,850 set in 2016.

“I wouldn’t be shocked if we had tens of thousands more than that, but I’m being conservative,” he said.

Anyone with concerns about the coronavirus was allowed to vote by absentee ballot this year. As of Monday morning, more than 244,000 absentee ballots had been requested and more than 223,000 had been returned to city and town clerks.

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Multiple safety precautions — masks, gloves, plexiglass barriers — will be in place for those who vote in person Tuesday. Gardner said local election officials are well prepared.

“There was a lot of concern in the late spring and early summer, but we had an advantage by having the primary in September because we could see the mistakes some other states made and plan for not doing the same thing,” he said.

Voter registration stood at 1,043,178 heading into Tuesday, but voters also can register at the polls.