Shuffling from class, shuttling to the polls: Keene State College students bring youth vote to the New Hampshire Primary

Keene State College student approaches campus shuttle bus to the local polling location for the NH Primary.

By Payton Cavanaugh, WEBN Reporter

“I believe that we’re at a crucial point in our country’s history, as a history major I can see these kinds of flashpoints. I just know that now is more important than ever to be voting,” said junior history major, Tesla. 

A student at Keene State College, Tesla found the time amidst classes to get out and vote in the New Hampshire primary this snowy Tuesday. 

Tesla recognizes the opportunity would not have been possible if it weren’t for the help of the college. Keene State College is no stranger to the political landscape, hosting multiple presidential candidates, having extensive conversations with students, and even offering shuttle bus services from campus to polling locations.  

“A lot of college students don’t have cars. I don’t have a car, so if we didn’t have this kind of transportation available to us, we wouldn’t be able to get to the polls and vote,” said Tesla, “there would be a huge population that’s not getting their voices heard.”

The shuttle buses did not stop at transportation. Those driving the buses even checked in with students to make sure they were prepared to vote with correct documentation, a full understanding of the process, and their choices. 

“There was no way I was walking here in 30 degree weather– it was just not happening,” said sophomore Matthew Sturtevant. Sturtevant is a math major at Keene State College, and a longtime resident of Rochester, NH. 

“The woman on the shuttle bus was very helpful telling me everything I needed to know, and everyone inside the voting center was helpful,” said Sturtevant, “this is my second time voting but my first time in the primary so I didn’t really know what to do.”

One conversation that seemed to weigh heavily on the minds of New Hampshire voters on this day was the state of the NH primary moving forward. In recognition of the DNC’s move to hold the primary in a state that is representative of a more diverse group of Americans, New Hampshire voters were discussing the topic. 

“I feel like having the first primary is the only thing New Hampshire is known for,” said Sturtevant, “at that point we have nothing special about us.”