Non-partisan Group Shuttles Student Voters To New Hampshire Polls

This story was written by Nathan Swire, The Dartmouth
Student voters in Hanover were eager to head to the polls for Tuesday's New Hampshire primaries, according to representatives of Vote Clamantis, a non-partisan group. The Dartmouth student-run organization, formed to encourage student voting, ran cars throughout the day to bring students to the polls at Hanover High School.

"As soon as we dropped a group off we had to go right back to pick up more students," Jessica Guthrie '10, a chair of Vote Clamantis, said.

With temperatures climbing to 54 degrees in Hanover on Tuesday, the January thaw likely contributed to the large voter turnout.

Guthrie said Clamantis' efforts ran smoothly despite an overwhelming number of voters.

Reed Stephens '11, who voted for the first time on Tuesday, said he could not escape people around campus urging him to vote.

"I was told to vote three times on the way to class, three times on the way back, just people on the street telling me to vote," he said.

Stephens, who preregistered to vote in New Hampshire, described the voting process as relatively quick and simple. Voters were also able to register at the polls, but registration lines extended across the Hanover High gymnasium, stalling voters for 30 minutes or more.

Michael Brasher '10, president of Dartmouth for Hillary, said he believes the high voter turnout will lead to a strong showing for Democrats in the general election.

"People are coming out in record numbers because they're ready for change," Brasher said.

Jennifer Bandy '09, a member of Dartmouth Students for Huckabee and co-vice president of the Dartmouth College Republicans, said Republican groups on campus made an effort to turn out their vote. She added that this was important in order to attract future presidential candidates to Dartmouth, who could be reluctant to come if they did not see a base of support on campus.

"We want to have as strong a showing from College Republicans on campus as possible," she said.

Vote Clamantis plans to continue working through the general elections, Guthrie said, when group members "expect people to be more involved." Prior to the primary election, Vote Clamantis also sponsored drives to get students registered and spread information about voting.
© 2008 The Dartmouth via U-WIRE