To the Editor:
The Oct. 31 article, "Students must change residency to vote in NH," may have needlessly discouraged students from voting here. Students who have not yet voted can still register and vote today in the New Hampshire elections. While it is true that students are declaring residency in New Hampshire by voting in Hanover, in most cases this is not a cause for concern.
The Town of Hanover encourages students attending college in New Hampshire to register and vote in all elections. Anyone registering in Hanover is stating that his or her "permanent established domicile" is in New Hampshire.
Many of us consider Hanover our present place of domicile; this is our home and community for nine months of the year. Participating in the elections here is both a legal right and a privilege granted to us as citizens and as students.
A few students may have state scholarships requiring residency in the state where they attended high school; however, most scholarships are either private or federally-funded and will not be affected by the decision to change residency.
Registering in New Hampshire could also mean that if students are pulled over, a state trooper could require them to re-register their vehicles and change driver's licenses. But this is unlikely because voter registration is handled at the local level and the State Department of Motor Vehicles has no record of where you vote.
Students can request at anytime to have their names removed from Hanover's voter checklist. Re-registering in their home towns means they will no longer be residents of New Hampshire.
Except in the case of a scholarship requirement, the New Hampshire residency requirement should not deter us from voting in Hanover. We should, however, claim our residency of New Hampshire in good faith.
Voting is an important expression of our priorities and values. I encourage students to vote today from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Richmond School on Lebanon street next to the Hanover High School.