New Ipswich fills deputy clerk position, but not in time for election

  • Town of New Ipswich. (BEN CONANT / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Copyright Monadnock Ledger-Transcript. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to news@ledgertranscript.com. Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 10/21/2020 4:46:32 PM

New Ipswich has located a candidate to fill the vacant deputy town clerk position, but the office is likely to continue operating understaffed until after the Nov. 3 election.

The clerk’s office has been only open sporadically for the past few weeks, as Town Clerk Jessica Olson has been out of the office due to a health issue, and has no official deputy clerk to step into her position.

Town Administrator Scott Butcher said in an interview Wednesday that an offer has been made to permanently fill the deputy position, and it has been accepted, and the town is currently going through the vetting process with that potential employee. However, he said, the new deputy is currently working in anther community and will not be available until after the Nov. 3 election, with the town expecting them to begin in three weeks time.

Olson has told Butcher that she will be unable to open the office regularly likely through the remainder of 2020 at least.

Since she has been out of the office, the town’s Land Use Clerk, Deb Deaton, who has the required certifications from the state to conduct the town clerk’s duties, such as registering vehicles, has been opening the office when she is able, acting as the deputy clerk, and will continue to do so until a permanent replacement can take up the job.

The New Ipswich town website recommends residents check daily for updates on when the clerk’s office will be open. It is next scheduled for hours on Thursday, Oct. 22, from 8 a.m. to noon.

“Unfortunately that’s going to continue to be a fluid situation, and that’s the best we can do,” Butcher said.

Butcher said he is also still reaching out to other clerks in neighboring communities about filling in for additional shifts to increase public access to the clerk’s office.

Deaton will also be fulfilling the clerk’s role on election day, Butcher said.

Residents will be able to register for voting at the polls with the supervisors of the checklist, if they have not yet registered.

Residents can still apply for absentee ballots, either by picking up a request form at the town office during regular business hours, or by downloading the form from the town clerk department page on the New Ipswich town or the Secretary of State’s website. Absentee ballots can be mailed to the town clerk or dropped off in person. Voters can check the status of their absentee ballot on the Secretary of State’s website at https://app.sos.nh.gov/Public/AbsenteeBallot.aspx.




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