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Dartmouth Students Vote In Recordnumbers

This story was written by Katie Paxton, The Dartmouth

Of the 2,400 registered Dartmouth student voters, 2,219 cast their ballots in Hanover yesterday, according to Jessica Guthrie 10, president of Vote Clamantis, a nonpartisan student organization. Approximately 400 additional Dartmouth students voted using absentee ballot in their home states.

This election is crucial, so Vote Clamantis is making sure that each student gets to the polls some way, somehow, Guthrie said.

Vote Clamantis organized a shuttle system to drive Dartmouth students to the polls on Tuesday. The group also held two voter registration drives this fall, registering 700 Dartmouth students, Guthrie said. In the week before the final registration deadline, approximately 150 students registered without the services of Vote Clamantis.

Our goal is to remove all barriers and excuses students may have for not voting that day, Guthrie said. You hop in a van, youre here in less than five minutes, you go to vote, and ta-da, youre done. No excuse for saying I didnt have time to walk, the weather is bad.

Guthrie said that Vote Clamantis vans ensure that students have a nonpartisan ride to the polls.

Barack Obamas campaign also provided two vans to take people on campus to the Hanover High polls.

Their main goal was to get the students to the polls, she said. As long as the students go to the polls to vote, essentially I dont care how they got there.

During the primary elections in January, Obamas campaign hired approximately six vans to transport voters to the polls, which caused confusion for students who mistakenly thought the Obama campaigns vans were nonpartisan, according to Guthrie.

During the primaries, their vans were clearly partisan, Guthrie said.

Students volunteers for the DREAM program also worked to register voters and drive them to the polls.

DREAM mentor Justine Modica 09 and six other students hoped to create a system to transport non-Dartmouth voters to the polls. Modica said she hopes this years ride program will lay the groundwork for larger outreach efforts in future elections.

I think there are a lot of people who dont get absentee ballots in time or dont think to get absentee ballots, she said. The main challenge was getting people registered.

Modica said she delivered registration forms to 10 families, brought a few of the completed forms to the town clerk and brought a few people to the polls on Tuesday.

Hopefully other mentors will be able to do more with it in the future and that will be more part of the goal [of DREAM], to work with parents as well as kids, she said.

Kathy Descoteau, a single mother that Modica drove to the polls on Tuesday, said that she believed this election is especially important for her and her family.

Im sitting here with my hand on my heart and with faith hoping that this next candidate will help us, Descoteau said Tuesday night as she waited for the results.

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