By Matthew Gillett
HAMPTON, N.H. ‚Äď 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.
Just as he had in years past, Casassa oversaw the election processes at Winnacunnet High School, Hampton‚Äôs only polling location. Casassa said voters in New Hampshire feel a ‚Äúresponsibility to go out to events‚Ä¶ and get educated‚Ä¶ to get a different feel for [the candidates] than on TV.‚ÄĚ
One of those events occurred on election day in the school‚Äôs 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 ‚Äúsuper excited‚ÄĚ and grateful to Dixville Notch’s residents, whose residents voted at midnight and gave her a 6-0 victory.
Casassa said it is ‚Äúhighly complementary when candidates stop by. It energizes the voters.‚ÄĚ 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 ‚Äútossup community. It‚Äôs roughly 30% Republican, 30% Democrat, and 40% in the middle, and so everyone can have a dream.‚ÄĚ
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 ‚Äúa lot of people enjoy the flexibility of being able to vote in either, the parties don‚Äôt tend to like it,‚ÄĚ he said.
Over 1,700 people voted in the Democratic primary and 4,500 in the Republican primary.