More than 80 percent of registered voters in Dover turned out for the 2020 general election, surpassing totals from each of the last three elections, the city announced Friday.

The 80.1% turnout represented a 5-10% increase over the last three presidential elections. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, who won the state of New Hampshire, out-performed Republican incumbent Donald Trump in all six Dover wards.

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In total, 19,387 voters in Dover cast their ballot out of a total of 24,193 registered voters on November 3, according to Dover City Clerk Susan Mistretta. Despite the number of registered voters being 977 less than the 2016 election, 1,709 more people voted in the 2020 than in 2016.

Dover’s Ward 3 posted the highest voter turnout of all six wards at 82.1%, followed by Ward 2 (81.2%), Ward 4 (80.6%), Ward 6 (80.4%), Ward 5 (78.2%) and Ward 1 (77.7%).

More than a third of this year's votes were cast by absentee ballot in Dover, totaling 6,722 such ballots. That number was just 9.6% in 2016, 8.6% in 2012 and 8.2% in 2008.

This year, the New Hampshire state legislature passed House Bill 1266 that temporarily modified state election laws to allow absentee voter registration and absentee ballot casting for those concerned about COVID-19. Without further legislative action, the temporary law modifications are set to expire in 2021.

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