Voters’ Voices: Manchester, N.H.
By Meghin Delaney
MANCHESTER, N.H. (Jan. 10, 2012) — Manchester voters came out early Tuesday
morning in the nation’s first primary.
For Earl Hinkle, a 63-year-old retired member of the U.S. Navy, leadership is the biggest obstacle for candidates in this election. A politician with leadership skills can help get this country on the right track, he said.
Hinkle learned leadership skills from the get-go in the military. “When you’re in the military you do learn a lot of leadership, a lot of leadership skills,” he said. “I think that carries over heavily into the civilian community.”
Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman got Hinkle’s vote on Tuesday. “The guy I voted for,” he said, “I hope to see him win because he has the least amount of baggage.”
Martha Galanis, 74, used to work the polls every year at the McDonough Elementary School in Manchester, sometimes getting up as early as 4 a.m. Now she’s showing up as a regular voter. Galanis is a registered Republican. She lives about half a mile up the road from the elementary school.
She’s always voted, in primaries and general elections. “It’s something you should do,” she said. “It’s your responsibility as a citizen.”
Elections are important to her, she said, because it’s important way for Americans to really pick their candidate. “I think in the primary it’s important if you don’t vote, people that you don’t want will get in,” she said.
On Tuesday, Galanis voted for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. She admires his nobility and his spirit, she said. “No matter how they batter him, he stands there and he seems to take it,” she said. “He has a nobility about him.”
Galanis also supported and voted for Romney four years ago. Romney’s work with the Olympics in Massachusetts inspired her. “I think he’s put his heart and soul into what he’s done,” she said.
Galanis votes to support and protect her nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. “I want them to be safe,” she said. “I want this to be the America for Americans. We worked hard to get here.”
The economy and job creation is important for small business owner Dan Sevigny. Sevigny, 35, owns SPoTs insurance consulting business and employs about eight people full-time. “I’m looking for someone that can help us small business owners,” he said, “to be able to open up for the opportunities we’re giving to other people”
For him, the primaries are a chance where people’s voices and votes can actually be heard. “By the time we get to the general election — well, we’re picking the lesser of two evils very often,” he said.
At the McDonough Elementary School, Sevigny cast his vote for former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. “It took me a little bit to get there,” he said, “but he’s the guy that has my conservative belief system.”
(Meghin Delaney, a junior with double majors in magazine journalism and political science, is covering the New Hampshire primary for The Lowell Sun.)