Taking a Gamble: Keno, Manchester Mayoral Race Hot Ticket Items on Voters Ballots
CONCORD — Residents in 10 cities across the state Tuesay headed to the polls to decide whether the electronic bingo game Keno should be allowed in bars and restaurants in an effort to raise money for full-day kindergarten.
Gov. Chris Sununu signed a proposal into law back in July allowing money from Keno to fund kindergarten, but left it up to individual communities to decide whether they want to allow it in their town/city.
The city of Franklin passed the measure last month in an election. Portsmouth, however, decided against putting it on the ballot entirely.
New Hampshire towns will have the chance to vote on it next year.
Close to 75 percent of New Hampshire cities and towns already offer full-day kindergarten, but the state only pays half the standard per-student amount, about $1,800. Under the new law, the state will provide an additional $1,100 per full-day kindergarten student starting in 2019.
Opponents say counting on funds raised by gambling is taking money from those who can least afford it and is encouraging addictive behavior.
State lottery commission official estimate Keno could raise $443 million for education.
Incumbent mayor Ted Gatsas greets voters in Ward 9, Manchester on November 7, 2017.
One of the most anticipated races Tuesday is for Manchester's mayor. Incumbent Republican Ted Gatsas is seeking his fifth two-year term in the corner office. He is once again is facing off against Democrat Joyce Craig.
Joyce Craig stands with supporters in Ward 1 in Manchester.
Gatsas won by just 64 votes against Craig in the 2015 election. Gatsas says a Craig victory would mean higher taxes for city residents. Craig says the city has had eight years of the same and it's time for a change to improve Manchester.
This is the first general election in New Hampshire under a new state law requiring voters who move to the state within 30 days of an election to provide proof that they intend to stay. Democrats have challenged it in court, arguing it presents confusing, unnecessary and intimidating hurdles to voting. A state judge allowed the law to take effect, but blocked penalties of a fine and jail time for fraud, saying he wants to hear arguments in the case.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.