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Mass. student at PSU happy to have an opportunity to vote in a NH election

New Hampshire Union Leader

November 06. 2012 5:21PM

Elaine Melquist was among about 20 deputy registrars adding new voters, Tuesday, many of whom were Plymouth State University students. (by Paula Tracy)

PLYMOUTH -- Plymouth State University students came out in force to vote, Tuesday, keeping things very busy but running fairly smoothly at the polls in Plymouth.

At 4 p.m. there were 117 standing in the same-day voter registration line at Plymouth Elementary School. The line snaked from the gymnasium through the halls to the front door and there were about 20 deputy registrars working full time to review identification and swear people in as new voters.

Moderator Quentin Blaine said things were very busy but running smoothly noting at that hour there had been 2,280 who had already voted. Before the election the town had about 4,400 on the rolls but he expected that number to swell with new voters.

PSU students Tanner Pelletier, 20, of Conway and Becca Gosselin, 19, of Bedford were registered to vote in their home towns but chose to declare Plymouth as their home so they could vote today.

"It was easy," said Jana Nieman of Fairlawn, NJ who experienced her first opportunity to vote at the polls in Plymouth.

Officials from the NH Attorney General's office were overseeing the process and said things were going smootly with most everyone being able to vote.

The exceptions were students who live in Holderness or outside communities who thought they could vote in Plymouth but because their rental apartments are in other localities, could not vote in Plymouth.

Elaine Melquist was among about 20 deputy registrars who were busy at a long table filled with same-day registrants.

"It's wonderful to see it," she said of all the new voters.

Registered voters were directed at the door to go directly into the gym.

Betty Batchelder, a long time resident said she had never seen such long lines of first-time voters.

Nick Nocera, 19, of Bedford, Mass. raised his right hand to swear that the information he had just given deputy registrar Deborah Reynolds was accurate and then he got up to enter one of the 20 voting booths. He said the whole process took about 10 minutes and was pleased with the opportunity to go vote.

"It was easy," he said.

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