Voters’ Voices: Concord, N.H.


CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 10, 2012) — Voters in the capital of New Hampshire make time in the morning before work to hit their local polling places and vote in this year’s primary.

Concord resident Michael Douglas was one of the first people to vote at the West Street Ward House this morning. Douglas was born in Syracuse and lived in Rome, N.Y., until he moved to New Hampshire in 1990.  He’s especially interested, he said, in getting young people into the political process. “I think it’s important to vote,” Douglas said.

Douglas is unaffiliated with a political party but declared himself as Republican today — as New Hampshire law allows — to vote in the GOP primary. “It’s a thin party this year,” he said. “But Newt Gingrich seems to have the best ideas.”

Another early voter was Scott Morrison. “It’s your right,” Morrison said. “If you don’t vote, you don’t have the right to complain,” he said.

Morrison, 51, works in management consulting for Lean Manufacturing. He is a registered Republican. “Too many splits between conservatives this year,” he said. Unhappy with the Republican candidate field, he decided on former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum because he liked his message best.

Chris Northrup, 55, is a planner in the New Hampshire State Office of Energy and Planning. Northrup voted at the Ward 2 polling location at the Congregational Church.

He is unaffiliated with a political party, he said, but he declared himself as a Democrat today. He voted for president Barack Obama to keep his party’s nomination.

While the Democrat primary contest isn’t as intense as the Republican one this year, Northrup still wanted his preference made official, he said. “I wanted to participate,” said Northrup. “It’s my right and privilege as a citizen.”

Khristin Carroll, 59, is among voters hard hit by the recent recession. “I’m one of the people who is unemployed and struggling desperately to keep health care,” she said. “I’m one of the people who this affects.”

Carroll is a former business owner who returned to school in order to work as an EGK technician and phlebotomist, someone who draws blood for medical tests.  She was excited that her vote would matter so much in New Hampshire, she said.

Carroll cast her vote for former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman because she liked what he had to say, she said. “I want a change.”

(Julie McMahon, a graduate student in the magazine, newspaper and online journalism program at Syracuse University, is covering the New Hampshire primary for The Post-Standard.)

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