Hanover, Dartmouth Prepares For N.H. Primary

This story was written by Ben Nunnery, The Dartmouth
As New Hampshire's primary, the first in the nation, approaches on Tuesday, the Dartmouth community is gearing up for the election, with last-minute rallies, street corner stumping and an overall political frenzy. Voting in Hanover is set to take place at Hanover High School from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

At least four campaign rallies will have been held at Dartmouth by the time of the primary. On the Democratic side, Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M., spoke at Hanover High School Sunday afternoon, former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to stump on behalf of his wife Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., at the West Gymnasium today and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., plans to hold a rally at the West Gymnasium Tuesday morning. Republican Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, is scheduled to appear at the Top of the Hop this evening.

In addition to rallies, student-led campaigns at Dartmouth are organizing other efforts to increase support and turnout for their respective candidates. Dierre Upshaw '09, head of Dartmouth Students for Ron Paul, cited voter recognition and visibility as two of the group's primary objectives leading up to Tuesday.

"We want to reach people who support Dr. Paul and also find those who are discontent with the current situation but still want to vote for a Republican," he said.

The Obama Campaign also pointed to visibility as one of its main goals during the final days of the primary campaign in New Hampshire. Shaun Stewart '10, head of Dartmouth Students for Barack Obama, said that the group plans to campaign door-to-door, make phone calls and solicit volunteers to answer questions around campus.

Vox Clamantis, a non-partisan Dartmouth organization designed to spearhead the "get out the vote" effort at Dartmouth, will be operating vans to transport students to and from the polls. These vans will begin running at 10 a.m. and will continue until the polls close. According to David Glovsky '08, a Vox Clamantis organizer, six vans will operate four routes around campus, stopping at Fayerweather residence halls, outside the River residential cluster and near the library, among other locations. Student Assembly is funding this effort.

All Dartmouth students who are at least 18 years of age and hold American citizenship are eligible to register and vote in the primary with a valid state-issued ID and proof of domicile.

According to Glovsky, a representative from the Office of Residential Life will be at Hanover High to print out letters of domicile for students living on campus.

Those living off campus need a bill or other documentation that can verify their addresses.

Voters in New Hampshire may vote in the primary for which they are registered, either Republican or Democrat. Undeclared voters may vote in the primary of their choice. According to Liz Meade, Hanover's director of town clerk's office and tax collector, the Hanover precinct currently has 8,053 registered voters: 3,226 Democrats, 1,182 Republicans and 3,462 undeclared.

Meade said that Hanover is expecting a busier precinct than usual and plans to employ more ballot clerks than in years past. According to the 2000 census, approximately half of Hanover's residents are Dartmouth students, Meade said.
© 2008 The Dartmouth via U-WIRE