For most Dartmouth students, this upcoming presidential election is the first in which we are allowed to vote. For this reason, many either may not yet be registered or may be unfamiliar with absentee voting. Here are a few steps required in the voting process:
If you’d rather vote in your home state, but will not be able to vote in person, you’ll have to fill out an absentee ballot. The regulations for absentee voting differ by state.
For the majority of states, you can either download an absentee ballot application online or request one through a letter to your town hall. You will then receive an absentee ballot, which you must mail back to the county clerk. Most states require that you send your application one week prior to Election Day and your ballot normally must be received by or around Election Day.
Registering to Vote in New Hampshire
In New Hampshire, you can register at the polls on Election Day by 5 p.m. If you’d rather register beforehand, you can pick up a form at the Town Office in Hanover on 41 South Main Street, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. New Hampshire does not offer registration forms online. To register, you must show proof of identity using a driver’s license, photo ID, birth certificate, passport, naturalization papers or qualified voter affidavit. Your form must be received 10 days prior to voting, or by Oct. 27.
If you’re planning on registering with a party in New Hampshire, keep in mind that in the future, you must vote only that party’s ballot in the primary election. Otherwise, you may request any party’s ballot in primary elections.
Voting on Election Day will be held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Hanover High School gymnasium, located at 41 Lebanon Street.
There was controversy this past year over whether college students should be permitted to vote in New Hampshire. A law was passed earlier in the year, requiring that all new voters declare New Hampshire their home, subjecting them to all resident laws. This would entail registering cars and obtaining a New Hampshire driver’s license. However, this Monday, September 24, it was ruled that out-of-state college students may continue to vote in New Hampshire, so any attempt to obstruct your voting privileges as a student is unacceptable.
To simplify the registration and voting process, there is a straightforward and easy-to-use smartphone app available, created by Albert Scherr, a law professor at the University of New Hampshire School of Law.
The app provides information on the documents necessary for registration and allows voters to report problems at the polls. According to the app description, it “explains your rights in the voting process in the state of New Hampshire … [and] helps you report voter irregularities by connecting you to people who can help uphold your rights as a voter.”
The application has received six 5-star reviews. You can download the free app by searching “NHCLU voterapp” on iTunes.
Tags: election 2012, Emma Moley, politics