Similar lines were a constant in Bedford, a wealthy suburb of Manchester. Nearly 5,700 people had voted in the town by midafternoon, with a further 959 absentee ballots reported and many voters still in line. Bedford has 15,613 registered voters in all. “This is definitely a high turnout,” said Bill Carter, a town councilor. “More than we see in town and state elections.”
As a midday snow began to coat the parking lot of the Peterborough Community Center, near the southern border of the state, Linda Guyette, the local clerk, said that almost 2,000 of the town’s 5,100 registered voters had already cast a ballot.
A similar pace was evident in Litchfield, about 20 minutes south of Manchester. The election moderator, Steve Perry, said that about 40 percent of the town’s 5,700 registered voters had cast their ballots by 4 p.m., and that the town typically experienced a post-dinner crush before polls close.
Not all towns were experiencing a surge. Rachel Deane, the Durham town clerk, said the vote count was much lower than the last primary as of 5 p.m. — around 2,800 ballots cast, compared with over 5,000 total in 2020. Ms. Deane attributed the drop-off in part to students at nearby University of New Hampshire having resumed classes. She said that President Biden’s absence from the ballot and Ron DeSantis’s recent departure from the race may have also affected turnout.