Published in The New Hampshire, Feb. 11, 2016
According to Alona Brosh, “If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain.”
Brosh, a UNH senior from West Orange, New Jersey, made sure she would have something to complain about if the primary didn’t go in her favor. She cast her vote at Dover’s First Parish Church on Tuesday morning.
A historic and anticipated day in New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation primary took place on Feb. 9, with voters across the state turning out to have a say in the future of American politics. Sen. Bernie Sanders took home the Democratic vote with 60 percent, while Donald Trump won the Republican nod with 35.3 percent.
“If polls are looking good for a candidate, it will encourage future voters in other states to vote for them when before they may have been unsure,” Brosh, a registered Democrat said, referring to the significance of the New Hampshire primary. “You hear it all the time that people like a candidate but they don’t think they’ll win so they don’t vote for them.”
Voting in Durham was held at Oyster River High School, where shuttles were provided to UNH students from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. One shuttle driver remarked that by 1 p.m., she had “probably already made 35 trips.”
Voter registration for students was made simple, as a form of identification and proof of Durham residence were the only required documents. Whether in state-out or out-of-state, all students were offered the opportunity to pen their vote.
A total of 5,916 votes were cast at the Durham polls, 4,107 Democratic and 1,809 Republican. Durham Town Administrator Todd Selig said these numbers “eclipsed the presidential primary results of the last 12 years.” Two thousand one hundred same day registrations were processed over the course of the day.
Junior Deirdre LaSelva had been waiting for her trip to the polls since she’d seen Sen. Marco Rubio speak in Dover last week.
“I feel he has the energy that our country needs, and can pull the support of the young Republican voters who want a shake-up from the “old white guy” image that the party often holds,” LaSelva said.
A political science major and South Berwick, Maine native, LaSelva sees the direct impact her vote will have on her future.
“We are the generation that is going to be directly affected by the policies that the next president will be putting in place,” she said. “We are at the age that we are going to start searching for careers, paying our own income taxes, starting families and watching our parents reach retirement age.”
Just one day after Sen. Bernie Sanders held a rally in the Whittemore Center and made a surprise appearance at Libby’s Bar and Grill, several student voters who were headed to the polls were certainly “feeling the Bern.”
Senior geography major Jacob Moss was part of a small crowd of 300 that greeted Sanders in Concord at 5 a.m. on Feb. 2, the morning after the Iowa Caucus.
“Sanders has a comprehensive plan to take power away from these corporate monsters and give it back to the middle class,” Moss said. “He is the only one walking the walk, without a Super PAC, and with countless years of being on the right side of history.”
Moss said he spent Tuesday morning sporting an American flag on his back, encouraging his fellow students to vote. Later that night, he attended the Sanders result party in Concord.
New Hampshire’s vote has been cast but primary season has only just begun. The South Carolina primary is up next, with Republicans voting on Feb. 20 and Democrats voting on Feb. 27.