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Hew Hampshire polling station

New Hampshire voters get educated on the candidates

A mix of political loyalties makes for an interesting primary.

By Matthew Gillett

HAMPTON, N.H. –  Robert Casassa is the poll moderator for the New Hampshire town with 13,000 voters on the checklist.  The Hampton native has served as the moderator for 20 years.

Robert Casassa shows an accessible polling booth. (Matthew Gillett/91㽶Ƶ)

Just as he had in years past, Casassa oversaw the election processes at Winnacunnet High School, Hampton’s only polling location. Casassa said voters in New Hampshire feel a “responsibility to go out to events… and get educated… to get a different feel for [the candidates] than on TV.” 

Volunteer election workers prepare to take ballots from voters. (Matthew Gillett/91㽶Ƶ

 One of those events occurred on election day in the school’s parking lot when former U.N. Ambassador and presidential candidate Nikki Haley stopped by. She talked to voters alongside New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and Gen. Don Bolduc, saying she was “super excited” and grateful to Dixville Notch’s residents, whose residents voted at midnight and gave her a  6-0 victory 

Casassa said it is “highly complementary when candidates stop by. It energizes the voters.” He noted that such visits are common occurrences for candidates. He recalled the 2016 race when his daughter took a picture with former president Bill Clinton, who was then campaigning for his wife and former secretary of state, Hillary. Casassa attributed the candidate visits to Hampton being a “tossup community. It’s roughly 30% Republican, 30% Democrat, and 40% in the middle, and so everyone can have a dream.”

Presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks to reporters.
Presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks to reporters at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton, New Hampshire. (Matthew Gillett/91㽶Ƶ)

 One of the things that makes New Hampshire unique is the large number of undeclared voters in the state. These voters can choose to vote in either primary. While “a lot of people enjoy the flexibility of being able to vote in either, the parties don’t tend to like it,” he said.  

I voted stickers artwork
“I Voted” stickers featured art from 4th graders who submitted artwork to the Secretary of State. (Matthew Gillett/91㽶Ƶ)

 

 

Over 1,700 people voted in the Democratic primary and 4,500 in the Republican primary. 

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