How did Sunape vote in 2012?

Barack Obama and Joe Biden captured New Hampshire’s four electoral college votes in a winning presidential campaign. Obama took each N.H. county, as well. In Sunapee, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan received 1,075 votes. Obama-Biden, 916.

View the Sunapee ballot numbers: General Election Results 2012

Turnout in Sunapee  was at 84.6%: 2,041 ballots cast of 2,411 registered voters. In the 2008, the General Election turnout was 77%.

Democrat Maggie Hassan is the N.H. Governor-elect. She won in Sunapee with 1006 votes against Republican Ovide Lamontagne, 948.

Ann McLane Kuster (D) will be the next Congressional representative for District 2. The Sunapee vote: Kuster, 844. Charlie Bass, 1,047.

Executive Councilor Ray Burton (R) won in District 1. In Sunapee, Burton received 1379 votes, challenger Beth Funicella (D), 626.

State Senator Bob Odell (R-Lempster) won the District 8 race against challenger Ckristopher Wallenstein (D-Bennington). In Sunapee: Odell, 1,378. Wallenstein, 545.

Republicans appears to have held on to the Senate in New Hampshire:  13-11.  A re-count will occur in District 9 where Democrat Lee Nyquist lost to Republican Andy Sanborn by less than 200 votes.

The New Hampshire House swung blue and will include two Democrats from Sunapee, Sue Gottling and Linda Tanner. Democrats won a 221 to 178 majority with one race still undecided, NHPR reports.

Former state Rep. Sue Gottling (D-Sunapee) won the District 2 race in Sullivan County defeating Spec Bowers (R-Sunapee), 57-43%. The Sunapee vote: Gottling, 1138. Bowers, 798.  The two-town district includes Croydon, where Gottling and Bowers split the vote, 205-205.

In the eight-town floterial District 9 in Sullivan County, challenger Linda Tanner (D-Sunapee) defeated incumbent Thomas Howard (R-Croydon), 54-46%. Sunapee gave Tanner 896 votes, Howard, 951. The district total: Tanner, 5,525. Howard, 4,759.

County Treasurer Michael Sanders (R) defeated Jim McClammer (D), 9,683 to 9,550. Sunapee gave Sanders 1,071 votes, McClammer, 684.

Also, on the ballot in uncontested races were: Sheriff Mike Prozzo, County Attorney Marc Hathaway,  Register of Deeds Sharron King and Register of Probate Diane Davis.

Democrat Jeff Barrett retained the County Commissioner seat in the 1st District in a race against challenger Donald Clarke (R), 10,431 to 9,073. In Sunapee, Barrett, 744. Clarke, 1,027.

Ethel Jarvis (D) took the Sullivan County Commissioner seat in the 3rd District with 9,902 votes against John Callum (R), 9,484. Sunapee count: Jarvis, 746. Callum, 1,036.

Visit the NH Secretary of State for county results.

Voters in New Hampshire rejected changing the State Constitution as measures failed to get the needed two-thirds approval.

Question 1, the income tax question, sought to disallow the General Court from imposing any new taxes or fees on personal income. Question 2 would have given the legislature concurrent rule making powers for the state’s court system.

The vote in Sunapee on Question 1, Yes 1012, No 796 and on Question 2, Yes 873, No 891.

Opinion: Rep. Spec Bowers on House redistricting plan

By Spec Bowers

Every ten years the legislature is required to redraw districts for many elected officials from county commissioners up to U.S. Congressmen. Most difficult by far was redistricting for State Representatives. The difficulty was due partly to ever-increasing restrictions imposed by federal courts interpreting the U.S. Constitutions, but mostly due to the 2006 amendment to the New Hampshire Constitution. It was a good amendment but it created problems never before faced.

The biggest change is that we now have “floterial” districts. Perhaps the best way to explain floterials is by example. Suppose there are two neighboring towns each with population of 5,000 people, entitling each town to 1 1/2 representatives.

In every redistricting up until now, the only way to handle two such towns would be to combine them into a single district electing three representatives. Today, we would make each town a district with one rep, then we would create a floterial district on top of the two “base” districts. So each town would vote for one rep from that town, then the two of them together would vote for a third rep. The benefit of floterials is that they allow us to have smaller districts with representatives closer to the people who elect them.

Compared to the 2002 districts we have been using for the last ten years, the new plan has twice as many districts, meaning that each district on average is half the size of the old districts, and the plan has triple the number of single-town districts, meaning that representatives are much more likely to live in the town (or ward) that elected them.

Some people, including the Governor, object that the plan is not perfect – it does not meet all the requirements of the N.H. Constitution. But the fact is that geography, populations, arithmetic, and legal rules made it impossible to achieve perfection. We had to satisfy five legal rules:

1) One man one vote – every district had to be within plus or minus 5% from the ideal population. Federal courts, including the Supreme Court have forced this restriction. If we do not obey this restriction it is virtually certain that a court would rule the whole plan unconstitutional.

2) When combining towns, they must be contiguous. (N.H. Const. Art. 11)

3) We cannot “landlock” a small town such that it would be impossible to combine it. (Art. 11)

4) Districts cannot cross county lines. This is not prohibited by the constitutions but can you imagine the controversy that would be caused if we did cross county lines?

5) Large enough towns get their own districts. (Art. 11)

Those rules are listed in priority order. We cannot obey rule 5 if that would mean we violated a higher priority rule. For example, many towns did not get their own districts because that would violate rule 3. In Merrimack county, the towns of Bow, Hooksett, and Hopkinton all are large enough to get their own districts. But if we did that, then Dunbarton would be landlocked, which would be unconstitutional.

Similarly, the towns of Loudon, Boscawen, and Northfield deserve their own districts, but that would landlock Canterbury. Of the 62 towns that did not get the district they deserved, many are because that would landlock a small town. In other cases we were not able to make those towns their own district without violating rule 1.

So how does the redistricting plan affect Sunapee?

Like many towns, and all towns in Sullivan county, Sunapee will now elect a state representative in two separate districts. District 2 is the towns of Sunapee and Croydon; District 9 is a floterial on eight towns: Sunapee, Newport, Croydon, Unity, Springfield, Grantham, Cornish, and Plainfield. On our ballots we have always had two separate districts for electing county commissioners. Now we will have two separate districts for electing a state representative.

Statewide we have triple the number of single-town districts. Sadly, Sunapee is one of the very few exceptions to this fact. Sunapee was a single-town district, now it is combined with the much smaller Croydon. This was dictated by the geography and populations of Sullivan county. Sunapee, Newport, and Claremont all deserve to have their own districts. But if we gave all three their own districts, the five northern towns would violate the one man one vote rule, as also would the seven southern towns.

We cannot combine northern towns with southern towns due to rule 2: they are not contiguous because Sunapee, Newport, and Claremont separate them. In order to satisfy rules 1-4, it was not possible to completely satisfy rule 5 for Sunapee and Newport. Our plan minimally violates rule 5 by adding a small town to Sunapee and to Newport. Sunapee still dominates its district, and Newport dominates its district. I myself developed two different plans for Sullivan county but I had to admit that the adopted plan came closer to the Constitutional ideal than my plans.

We worked literally months on the redistricting plan. One person would find an improvement, then another person would top that, then the first person would find yet another improvement. Nobody has been able to improve on the plan for Sullivan county or for most of the other counties. The sole exception is a part of Hillsborough county. Some of us think that one plan is better, some think a different plan is better.

The rascally lawyers tell us that whatever plan we develop will be subject to a possible lawsuit, but that our final plan is the one that best satisfies all the legal rules we faced.

I will vote to override the Governor’s veto so that this plan can become law.

Spec Bowers, the state representative for Sunapee, is a Republican from Georges Mills.  He sits on the House Special Committee on Redistricting.

Governor vetoes NH House redistricting plan – Sunapee loses town-district seat

This is the first of three postings about the House redistricting plan. A statement from Governor Lynch on his veto and an article about the redistricting plan by State Representative Spec Bowers, Sunapee, follows.

On Friday Governor John Lynch vetoed the redistricting plan for the New Hampshire House, while signing into law the redistricting plan for the Senate.

In explaining the veto, Governor Lynch said, “The right to vote is central to our democratic government. But that right is meaningless unless equal representation is assured when citizens vote. I am vetoing HB 592 because it violates the constitutional principle for equal representation and local representation; it is inconsistent in its treatment of similarly situated towns and wards, and it unnecessarily changes the boundaries of existing districts.”

“Another significant flaw with the House-approved redistricting plan is that it unnecessarily breaks-up cities and wards,” said Lynch. “It denies a total of 62 New Hampshire towns and wards their own seats in the House.”

The 2010 census reports the New Hampshire population is 1,316,470.

“A straight division into 400 districts yields an ideal population per district of 3,291. Under federal and state law, towns and wards that equal or are within 5 percent of this ideal population are entitled to their own representative,” said Lynch.

See the governor’s statement.

Sunapee loses town-district status

Redistricting changes the map for Sunapee. In the House-approved plan, Sunapee loses its sole representative. Instead, Sunapee has two representatives from two different districts.

The plan combines Sunapee and Croydon forming Sullivan County District 2, and it puts Sunapee into a eight-town floterial district, District 9, with Cornish, Croydon, Grantham, Newport, Plainfield, Springfield and Unity.

Sunapee, with a population of 3365 listed by the 2010 census, is “slightly over the requirements for a full district,” said Richard Leone, Sunapee, a former state representative.

Leone questions the redistricting plan, and he is concerned about its impact on Sunapee.

“Now that Sunapee has maintained the requirement for a full district for 10 years, doesn’t it seem rather odd that it no longer has that distinction or voice it sorely needs,” Leone said.

While acknowledging that the redistricting is not an easy task, Leone is not convinced that Sunapee had to lose its town-district status.

Leone said the process and the plan appear to be driven by ideology and the difference between the state’s two major political parties.

“We should get a better understanding of all this as time goes on,” Leone added.

State Representative Spec Bowers (R-Sunapee), commenting on the plan, said, “Statewide we have triple the number of single-town districts. Sadly, Sunapee is one of the very few exceptions to this fact.”

Sunapee was combined with “much smaller Croydon” because of the county’s geography and population, Bowers said.

“Sunapee, Newport, and Claremont all deserve to have their own districts. But if we gave all three their own districts, the five northern towns would violate the one-man-one vote rule, as also would the seven southern towns.”

“Like many towns, and all towns in Sullivan county, Sunapee will now elect a state rep in two separate districts,” Bowers explained. “On our ballots we have always had two separate districts for electing county commissioners.”

Bowers, a member of the redistricting committee, said he developed two different plans for the county, but “I had to admit that the adopted plan came closer to the Constitutional ideal than my plans.”

As for the Governor’s veto, Bowers says he will vote to override.

Medical Reserve Corps intern Chris Casey attends WalkBoston

Greater Sullivan County Medical Reserve Corps intern Christopher Casey (right) meets U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin at WalkBoston.

Greater Sullivan County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) intern Christopher Casey, of Colby Sawyer College, attended a special event in Boston Thursday, March 22, 2012.

WalkBoston is a large annual event promoting walkable communities for health and wellness. It was hosted in person by U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin.

Casey walked representing New Hampshire’s Greater Sullivan County MRC.

WalkBoston promotes making walking safer and easier to encourage better health, a cleaner environment and vibrant communities.

Casey is a Bachelor of Public Health candidate at Colby Sawyer College in New London. His internship project at the Greater Sullivan County Medical Reserve Corps has provided him with many experiences that show him how to organize a volunteer team for disaster relief.

Casey is also becoming an Medical Reserve Corps advocate by hosting a volunteer information session in April to recruit new volunteers and by posting health tips on Twitter.

The MRC is a group of willing and able volunteers, who can help the community when a public health emergency strikes.

  • For more information about how to join your local MRC Unit, or for internship opportunities, contact Jessica McAuliff, a regional coordinator of public health and preparedness, at (603) 398-2222.
  • Follow the unit on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GSCMRC and on the web at www.sullivancountynh.gov/mrc.

Employment: PT Public Health Program Assistant

Employment

The Greater Sullivan County Public Health Region is seeking a public health program assistant, a good communicator to assist with pandemic flu plans and medical reserve corps development. This is a part-time, temporary position, January through June 2011. Continue reading

Looking for NH Election Results?

2010 General Election Results certified by the NH Secretary of State’s Office

General Election Winners (via NH SOS office)

US Senator by County

Sullivan County results for US Senator

Congressional District 2

State Senate District 8 (includes District 7)

District 8 includes Acworth, Alstead, Charlestown, Claremont, Gilsum, Goshen, Langdon, Lempster,  Marlow, New Londn, Newbury, Newport, Roxbury, Stoddard, Sullivan, Sunapee, Sutton, Unity, Walpole, Washington and Westmoreland.

Sullivan County State Representatives

Sullivan County includes District 1 ( Cornish, Grantham and Plainfield). District 2 ( Croydon, Goshen, Newport, Springfield and Washington). District 3 (Sunapee). District 4 (Claremont Wards 1-3, Lempster and Unity). District 5 (Acworth, Charlestown, Langdon).

Sullivan County Offices

For other election results, visit the state’s Election Division

Wildlife Volunteers Provide Public Talks & Tours

Recently in Springfield (NH), more than 65 people turned out for New Hampshire’s Wild History, a program presented at the town library by the local conservation commission and historical society. It packed the room. Standing room only. The Wild History presentation is one of three topics available through a new program called Speaking for Wildlife made possible by the UNH Cooperative Extension and the NH Coverts Project, a wildlife volunteer program.

Speaking for Wildlife provides trained volunteers that deliver wildlife presentations and lead walks on public lands. The service is available to community groups, libraries, town boards, classrooms, and other interested groups in Sullivan and Grafton County and funded by the Wellborn Ecology Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

Program titles include:

  • Backyard Wildlife,  an indoor presentation that highlights a dozen wildlife species commonly seen in the Upper Valley, their habitats, and how the public can help keep these animals common.
  • New Hampshire’s Wild History, an indoor presentation that takes participants on a virtual journey through New Hampshire’s past, focusing on changes in the land and how wildlife populations have responded over time.
  • Speaking for Wildlife Walks, guided field walks on public lands that can help towns and communities raise awareness about unique properties and places.

Interested in hosting a program or field walk? Contact the UNH Cooperative Extension Forest Resource Educators  Chuck Hersey in Sullivan County, (603) 863-4730 or  chuck.hersey@unh.edu or Dave Falkenham in Grafton County, (603) 787-6944 or dave.falkenham@unh.edu.

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