Eric Jedd

Print Journalism

Students Catch a Ride for America

            As frost covered the ground on the frigid morning of November 6, 2012, students at Keene State College rode shuttles to the polls, driven by military veterans and citizens giving up their votes in order to transport them.

“One vote isn’t going to make a difference,” said Jack Marchessault, a driver of one of the vans that delivered students to and from the voting wards. Marchessault was asked to drive the students to the polls on Election Day and in turn, sacrificed his own vote to take up the job. “I myself am leaning towards Obama though.”

As The Beatles played on the bus radio, another driver said, “I’m like a lot of other people. I lost my job and volunteered for active duty for three years. I came back thinking I would get a job, but nope.”

In the early morning students trickled off of the shuttles and into the voting area at ward one of the Keene district, greeted by smiling volunteers and employees. Outside people supporting Obama and Romney took their sides, the middle -aged Republicans kept challenging Keene police by inching towards the building, before being told to move back, while the young Democrats sat in fold-out lawn chairs, sipping coffee.

“The voting booths were much more helpful for students this year,” said student Katherine Montplaisir. “The polls had a huge list of students on campus that made registering there much faster.”

Austin Martin, a KSC student said, “This election is very important. I’ve already voted for Obama.”

“College students are a huge demographic,” said student Sarah Bean, “They’re in charge of the future.”

Late afternoon, one student played played video games on his phone during the ride to the polls, two more talked about what homework was due the next day, another student ate a sandwich and fries from the on campus hoot and scoot and one sickly student blew his nose into a Kleenex that he grabbed from his pocket. All of this happened while “Vote for Romney” slogan played on the radio before pop music took over the air waves.

“This race is razor thin,” said Earl Nelson, a registered Republican on the ballot and running for sheriff. “I’m very confident in Romney; I think he’s going to win it.” Nelson had started the day at 6:30 a.m. going from ward to ward, supporting the Republican Party at every one he visited, “It’s been a long day.” He said, before chuckling with “Earl Nelson” sign in hand.

As the sun set and the clock wound down, students stood outside of the building at ward one, patiently waiting for the shuttle back.

Shuttle driver Marchessault said, “I still think we are living in the best country in the world.”


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