Students head to polls; Hassan and Lamontagne win
Published: Friday, September 14, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02
Across the nation, Tuesday Sept. 11 marked a day of remembrance, but in New Hampshire, it also marked the primary election, which decided the official nominees for the upcoming gubernatorial race. UNH students participated in the election through both absentee ballots and by traveling to local voting sites.
The Republican and Democrat tickets were won by Ovide Lamontagne and Maggie Hassan, respectively. For the Democratic ticket, Hassan defeated Jackie Cilley and Bill Kennedy. For the Republican ticket, Lamontagne defeated Kevin Smith and Robert Tarr.
Hassan, the Democratic winner, is from Exeter and believes in the power of fighting down the Tea Party. She has held a Senate seat since 2005 and served as the majority leader from 2008 to 2010. According to maggiehassan.com, her recent accomplishments include helping to legalize gay marriage in New Hampshire, raising the school dropout age to 18, and helping to “lead the way to pass universal kindergarten.”
In the future, she said she hopes to delve into a limited expansion of gambling, and to continue to develop her “Innovate New Hampshire” plan. She also strongly believes in women’s rights and recently “stood with Sen. Dem. Leader Sylvia Larsen and Rep. Cindy Rosenwald to defend women’s health care against outrageous attacks by the O’Brien legislature,” according to her website.
The Republican winner, Lamontagne, lives in Manchester and was named “Conservative of the Year” in 2011 for his efforts. He is a lawyer by trade, and is running for election after two failed attempts in 1996 (gubernatorial) and 2010 (Senate). He has laid out a plan to cut spending and further a free market press.
According to his campaign site, ovide2012.com, “The ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, as embodied in ObamaCare, will not fit what is in the best interest of New Hampshire citizens,” and he hopes to create a health-care policy that is efficient, reformed and has a redesigned insurance policy.
According to a recent article from the Union Leader, both candidates vowed to veto an income or sales tax.
Around campus, students were able to get out and go to the polling locations to cast their vote.
Democrat Mike Casazza, a former member of College Democrats, was one of those student voters.
“Yes, I voted,” he said. “(I voted for) Maggie. ... The real reason is that I just looked (at the pamphlet) they gave me before I went in.”
In accordance to the National Election, Casazza said he will be voting a straight ticket — again for Democrats, with President Barack Obama. “I usually do research on (those) elections,” Casazza said. “I like health care and what he says he’s doing with student loans.”
Some students, such as fellow Democrat Brianna Hartford, researched issues beforehand, just as she would have for the National Election.
“I voted for Maggie Hassan,” Hartford said. She agreed with Hassan on multiple platforms, including education. “I support her plans to put a tuition freeze on New Hampshire universities in order to make college more affordable.”
She said, however, that she thinks students do not know enough about the candidates.
“(The number of) informed voters is low,” Hartford said. “I know so many people my age who do no research and just vote for who their parents are voting for.”
Some students refrained from voting in the primaries, thinking that they couldn’t vote because Durham is only their temporary residence. Kelty Nicoll, one such student, said she would have voted if she had known she could.
Lauren Percy said she felt strongly about the election, having previously been a part of it.
“I have worked for the Maggie Hassan campaign,” she said. “So, I was super excited to get out and vote for the very first time.”
Registration, polling locations, absentee ballots and ways to get involved with the election can all be found online at Nonprofit VOTE at http://www.nonprofitvote.org.