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The Dartmouth
June 21, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Students up efforts as election nears

As Election Day nears, the College Democrats and College Republicans have increased their campaign efforts on campus and throughout the state by registering voters, manning phone banks and making door-to-door visits.

The College Democrats plan to spend the rest of the week canvassing at the College, while the College Republicans intend to send several groups to travel beyond campus borders. The groups have also prioritized informing students about voting rights and the potential impact of student voters.

"Our goal is to reach out to every Dartmouth student and make sure they know how important this election is," College Democrats President Mason Cole '13 said. "Given that the election could depend on just a few votes, we are reaching out to undecided voters as much as to those who have already made up their minds."

A number of organizations including the campaigns for President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney utilize student volunteers to raise voter awareness due to the flexibility of their schedules and ability to reach large student bodies.

"The message tends to be more effective when it comes from one of your friends," Cole said. "We've realized that the more students get involved in the campaign, the more excited they tend to be and the higher the chances are that they will actually vote."

Young Democrats of America is working with College Democrats to encourage previously unaffiliated and first-time voters to vote for Democratic candidates, Young Democrats of America Communication Director Peter Menz said.

The College Republicans, however, have chosen to direct more effort toward campaigning rather than attracting first-time Republican voters, College Republicans President J.P. Harrington '13 said.

Earlier this term, members of the group traveled to Nashua, N.H., to attend a speech by Romney.

"It was truly inspiring to go and see someone with a unique vision for the country," Harrington said.

The group also sponsored a visit from Romney's son, Tag Romney, who spoke at a private meeting two weeks ago.

A number of candidates including Vice President Joe Biden and supporters have traveled to New Hampshire due to its importance as a swing state. Local candidates, such as Rep. Charlie Bass '74, R-N.H., and Democrat Ann Kuster '78, vying for the 2nd congressional district seat, have also held events on and around campus with the support of student organizations. Many students also backed their parties' respective gubernatorial candidates, Democrat Maggie Hassan and Republican Ovide Lamontagne.

Individuals not affiliated with the College Democrats or Republicans have chosen to volunteer their time to campaigns outside the scope of these student organizations.

"People should know it's easy to get involved," Carene Mekertichyan '16 said. "I just got here, and I'm already involved."

Some students said they would not have registered to vote if not for dorm-to-dorm campaigning, with which Mac Simonson '16 said he has enjoyed being involved.

"It's really nice to get to know the voters," Simonson said. "Even if they don't agree with me, we end up having really interesting discussions."

On Election Day, the College Democrats, College Republicans and Student Assembly will provide transportation to and from the polls to facilitate student voting and registration. Buses will travel between Collis Common Ground and Hanover High School throughout the day on Nov. 6.