UNH Students Set Primary Date, Will Be First To Vote In Granite State
By Lori Wright, Media Relations
November 21, 2007
Although the date of the New Hampshire Presidential Primary is yet to be determined,
UNH students will be the first to vote in the Granite State, going to the polls
this December as part of the university’s first mock presidential primary “Wildcats
Sponsored by the UNH Discovery Program and Department of Residential Life,
Wildcats Vote will be the university’s first ever large-scale, simulated
presidential primary for students.
The campus-wide political exercise slated for December 2007 is meant to educate
students about the presidential primary process and underscore New Hampshire’s
role as the first–in-the-nation primary state. It will target UNH’s
11,000 residential and commuter students.
A Primary Primer issue forum moderated by Dante Scala, associate professor
of political science, will be held Thursday, Dec. 6, to inform students of
four major issues facing their generation in the upcoming presidential election:
the environment, U.S. foreign policy, education and healthcare. Additionally,
students will have an opportunity to meet with representatives of all of the
presidential campaigns to discuss their concerns.
The Primary Primer will feature discussions by Tama Andrews, lecturer in the
department of political science, on the history of New Hampshire as first in
the nation; Scala on an overview of the New Hampshire Primary in selecting
a president and the difference between a primary and a caucus; Andy Smith,
director of the UNH Survey Center and associate professor of political science,
on current New Hampshire Primary candidate poll standings; Alynna Lyon, associate
professor of political science, on the impact of a U.S. president in the world;
and Vanessa Druskat, associate professor of organizational behavior and management
at WSBE, who will talk about how to be an independent thinker when deciding
on which candidate to support.
Voting will occur during a three-day period from Tuesday, Dec. 11, through
Thursday, Dec. 13, at polling stations in each of the university’s 21
residence halls, the MUB and two university apartment complexes. The polling
places have been divided into three areas, and each area will vote on a separate
“We plan to report the results as the vote progresses, with the ballots
counted on the night of each the vote. Voting by areas is intentionally designed
to simulate how results from states that voted previously influence states
that have primaries later in the season,” said Michele Holt-Shannon,
assistant director of the Discovery Program.
UNH will hold a news conference Friday, Dec. 14, at noon in the MUB food court
to announce the results of the Wildcats Vote.
At the conclusion of the mock primary, UNH will educate students about the
primary system, including the benefits and drawbacks of using popular vote
and the Electoral College system to elect presidents.
“Our hope is that students will not only learn about their electoral
system, but more importantly, realize that they have the very real possibility
of affecting the outcome of next year’s presidential contest,” said
Taras Ferencevych, an organizer of Wildcats Vote. “Eleven thousand students
casting votes in New Hampshire is bound to attract some high-profile attention.”
For more information contact Holt-Shannon at Michele.firstname.lastname@example.org or 2-0130.