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On November 13, I joined a long line of students at the Voter Registration Drive outside of Rocky 106. With the thought of finals looming over me, I frantically checked the time and considered whether it was worth the wait. I ultimately chose to stay in line; not just because of the apple cider and donuts in front of me, but because I wanted to cast my first-ever ballot during the 2020 New Hampshire Democratic primary elections on Tuesday, February 11. 

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To my surprise, I was at the front of the line within ten minutes. Representatives from the Town of Hanover and The Office of Residential Life collaborated to set up a seamless process of registering students. The first representative I met asked to see my Dartmouth ID and driver's license. (If you lived off campus, they also asked for your proof of residency.) I was then directed to a table in the middle of the room where I completed and signed a form which asked for basic information and highlighted voter expectations. Then, I moved to a second line, where my form was checked for completion. I am now officially registered to vote!

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I know many of my peers have no interest in voting. Some are disillusioned by the political process; others do not want to waste their time or vote. However, I have always been interested in the political process, and I am excited to go to school in a state with a contentious primary. This term, Dartmouth was visited by Elizabeth Warren, William Weld, Cory Booker, and Pete Buttigieg's husband Chasten — opportunities I would never get in a solid blue state like New Jersey. A couple of weeks ago, my friends and I even attended Bernie Sanders' rally at BEMA (an open grassy area known as the Big Empty Meeting Area). Sanders discussed topics such as his plans to cancel student debt, gun control, and the impeachment inquiry against Trump.

 

You do not have to look far before finding a Dartmouth student that is organizing a rally or phone bank for a presidential candidate, writing a petition to make the voting process more transparent, or participating in a debate watch party. If you are interested in studying government or history, Dartmouth may be the perfect place for you. 

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