China voters have a two-sided local ballot to fill out Nov. 5: local elections on one side, local referendum questions on the other.
The first four referenda are intended to comply with state law requiring municipalities to “opt in” before anyone may open a new medical marijuana facility. The questions ask if China voters want to allow “medical marijuana registered caregiver retail stores,” “medical marijuana registered dispensaries,” “medical marijuana testing facilities” or “medical marijuana manufacturing facilities.” Definitions of the terms are in state law, Title 22, Chapter 558-C.
The fifth question asks if voters want to require a minimum 1,000-foot distance between the property line of any of the above, if approved, and a pre-existing public or private school.
The final question asks voters to choose between two possible three-hour extensions of town office hours: staying open until 7 p.m. Thursdays, or continuing to open from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturdays. A note says the question is advisory only and selectmen are not bound to implement either schedule.
There is a single contest on the election side of the ballot. Two selectmen’s terms are expiring, Irene Belanger’s and Robert MacFarland’s, and three residents have returned nomination papers, Belanger, Wayne Chadwick and Todd Tolhurst.
Ranked choice voting is not used in China’s 2019 local elections.
There are no listed candidates for three planning board seats, District 1 (Kevin Michaud’s term ends), District 3 (Ralph Howe’s term ends) and the alternate position elected from anywhere in town (currently vacant).
For the budget committee, Chairman Robert Batteese and District 1 representative Kevin Maroon are unopposed for reelection. There is no name on the ballot for the District 3 seat that Chadwick currently holds.
China polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, in the portable building behind the town office. Residents may vote in advance, at the town office or elsewhere, until Oct. 31. After that date, state law says absentee ballots may be issued only if the voter is unexpectedly out of town the entire time the polls are open, has a physical disability or is confined to home or a “treatment facility” due to “incapacity or illness.”