This coming Tuesday, Nov 4, is Election Day! The votes cast on this year’s ballot will determine the house representative, governor, state senator, and U.S. senator for New Hampshire. Whether you’re from N.H. or out of state, if you are a student at UNH over 18 years old, you can register to vote in the state of New Hampshire. You can fill out an absentee ballot for your home state, so cast your vote wherever you call home, or where you feel your vote most matters.
Who should I vote for?
Before you head to the ballot box, it’s important to learn a little bit about who you’re giving your vote to. Even if you know which political party you belong to, it’s smart to get to know the individual candidate, and look into what they think about the issues you care about most. As college students, I know how hard it is for us to find the time to do this extra research, but a little information really does go a long way. To make it a little easier, here’s a short summary of each of the candidates’ platforms. To learn more about a candidate’s stance, click on their name to be linked to their campaign website.
- Scott Brown is a member of the Republican Party. He was a Massachusetts state senator for six years, and in the U.S. Senate for three. He believes in ending our dependence on foreign oil, and pursuing more renewable energy sources. He strongly supports the Second Amendment, and is against an increase in gun control. He is against Obamacare, and wants to work towards abolishing this, as well as lowering taxes. He has also made more affordable higher education a priority. He is pro-choice, and he does not support same-sex marriage.
- Jeanne Shaheen is a member of the Democratic Party. She was a New Hampshire state senator for 6 years, and New Hampshire governor for six years. She has now been in office in the U.S. Senate since 2009. She is an advocate for both women’s and LGBTQ+ rights. She wants to work towards providing affordable health care to everyone, as well as more benefits to our country’s veterans. She will continue working towards lowering loan interest rates for graduates of higher education establishments, and she has made environmental conservation and sustainable energy a top priority.
- Carol Shea-Porter is a member of the Democratic Party, and a UNH Alum! She has served a total of six years. She will work to protect Medicare and Social Security, and voted in favor of the Affordable Care Act. She wants to make climate change a top priority in the U.S. House, and strongly supports the Clean Power Plan. Her plan to create jobs in New Hampshire is raising the minimum wage, cutting small business taxes, and ensuring equal pay for women. She is pro-choice. She was an original co-sponsor of the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, and will continue to work to lower the overall cost of college, by investing in higher education institutions.
- Frank Guinta is a member of the Republican Party, and was mayor of Manchester for four years, and was previously a member of the U.S. House for two years. Previously, he has worked to reduce veteran homelessness, and launched the “Getting Granite Staters Back to Work” job initiative, which sponsored job fairs across the state. He wants to increase border security, and lower both individual and corporate tax rates. He believes that the federal government’s role should be limited in the public school system, and wants to give teachers and school boards more flexibility. Family values are important to him. He is pro-life, and does not support federal control of greenhouse gas emissions, or same-sex marriage.
- Maggie Hassan is a member of the Democratic Party, and has served as governor for one year. She wants to work to increase public safety, and increase services to those with developmental disabilities and mental health issues. In the past, she negotiated the Medicaid Enhancement Tax, and will continue to work towards more responsible budgeting. She will continue to support New Hampshire’s Job Training Fund, to strengthen our work force. She supports New Hampshire’s current gun laws, and is pro-choice. She is also in support of stricter environmental regulations. During her time in office, she froze in-state tuition at state schools (that’s us!), and cut tuition at community colleges. She has also worked to promote modern STEM education in public schools.
- Walter Havenstein is a member of the Republican Party, and has served on the U.S. Marine Corps. He is extremely dedicated to protecting the right to bear arms, and wants to reduce gun control laws. He is also against pursuing renewable energy sources like wind and solar energy. He is opposed to medicaid expansion, as well as the current Northern Pass plan. He supports gay marriage, and also women’s right to choose. He wants New Hampshire to stick with the current budget allotted to our state schools.
- Martha Fuller Clark is a member of the Democratic Party, and has been in office in the state Senate for six years. She wants to increase the tax incentives for job creation, provide the opportunity to every child to receive a quality and comprehensive public education, and make state university more affordable. She supports Medicare and Medicaid, and wants to work to give women more control over their reproductive health decisions. She believes sustainable energy alternatives are a priority.
- Phil Nazzaro is a member of the Republican Party, and this is his first time running for office. He is dedicated to lowering student debt, and putting great teachers into our primary and secondary public school systems. He wants to work towards protecting the environment, and protecting the tourism industry in the state. He is socially more democratic, and supports same-sex marriage, women’s rights, and wants to end the “prohibition of marijuana.” He is committed to holding the government to its promise of equality and liberty to every citizen.
Why should I bother?
Voting is one of the most important rights that we are guaranteed as citizens. It allows us to show which issues and changes matter to us. It is our responsibility to use our voices and our votes to build a government that is representative of our communities on a district, state, and national level. Taking just a small amount of time to learn about each candidate can show you how to most effectively communicate what you believe in, and the changes you want to see. As a member of society, what you think matters but it will only matter if you use your vote. As FDR said, “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves, and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” And if you’re still not convinced, here’s a rad video by Rock the Vote!
How do I vote?
All of the information you need on registering and getting to the polls is available here! Buses will be taking students from the Main Street bus stop to the polls all day, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., if you need a ride. Let’s all turn out to rock the vote this year, Wildcat style!