Keene State College students flocked the polls Tuesday, Feb. 9, to exercise their civic responsibility and vote in their first Presidential primary.
For first-time voters, finally being able to vote on who will be the next Leader of the Free World is a right of passage into adulthood.
KSC first-year Brendan Felix said that he had voted in a state election last year, but is eager to have his voice be heard on a national level.
“I voted in a state election last year and that was pretty cool,” Felix said. “I know that the NH Primary has a lot of importance on the election results so I’m excited to make my mark on what I hope is going to be a revolution.”
Felix said he is a supporter of Senator (VT) Bernie Sanders because his policies will help re-develop the middle class.
“I agree with a majority of Bernie Sanders’ policies. I like him mostly for his policy on education and on prison reform, but also I like that he speaks to the middle class because I am definitely a middle class American,” Felix said.
In fact, Felix was not the only voter who supported Sanders in the primary.
According to poll results in the City of Keene, Sanders led the Democrats with over 70 percent of the votes, while Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came in second with only 27 percent of the votes.
Even at the state level, Sanders still remained superior to Clinton, with 60 percent of the votes in his favor.
While there were many Sanders supporters represented at the primary, KSC sophomore and first-time voter Jacob West was not one of them.
West said that Former Governor (FL) Jeb Bush is the only logical way to go for this election.
“I’m supporting Jeb Bush because I relate to a lot of his views,” West said. “He would be the lesser of the evils for President, if I have to pick one.”
West said that he understands why most students are leaning towards Sanders because of his plan to make public post-secondary education free for all Americans, but West is not in agreement.
“I don’t have one specific issue that is important to me, but I guess my biggest worry is the cost of higher education,” West said. “I know Sanders is talking about free education but I don’t know if that would work out or if that’s best for our country. I think a lower tuition would be more sufficient than it being free.”
In the City of Keene, Jeb Bush was third for the Republican Party with 13 percent of the votes. Donald Trump trumped the other Republican candidates with nearly 30 percent of the party. Governor (OH) John R. Kasich fell behind Trump in second place with almost 20 percent of the votes.
Overall votes for the state revealed Trump and Kasich remaining in the top two positions, while US Senator Ted Cruz pushed Jeb Bush into fourth place by almost half of a percentage.
While the Republican Party has more candidates with a substantial number of votes, that does not stop KSC sophomore Olivia Miller from “Feeling the Bern.”
Miller said that regardless of the number of well-known names on the Republican ballot, that does not sway her choice on which party to vote for.
“I have liked Sanders from the beginning,” Miller said. “His policies on clean energy, education and foreign policy are too important for me to go to a different candidate.”
Being of age for the first time in a Presidential primary, Miller said being an active citizen by voting is very important.
“Our government gives us as much as they possibly can and we need to give them just as much if we truly want our ideas to be heard,” Miller said.
Olivia can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org