NH Residents Attending College in Another State
If you are from New Hampshire but attending college in another state, you have two options. You can vote in the New Hampshire elections via Absentee Ballot or you can vote in the town where you are domiciled (where you live) for school. For example, if you are living in Burlington, Vermont to attend UVM, you may register to vote in Vermont and vote at the polls in Burlington.
Because New Hampshire is an important swing state, most students choose to register at home in NH and vote in the New Hampshire election via absentee ballot. You may apply for your ballot by mail through your hometown clerk. Absentee ballots are generally available at your town clerk’s office 30 days before an election. Make sure to apply for the ballot in time to get it back to your town clerk before the election.
Students Attending a New Hampshire college from Out of State
If you are an out-of-state student attending college in New Hampshire, you have the right to register and vote on the New Hampshire ballot. If you choose to do this, you will vote in the town or city where you are domiciled (where you are living). For example, UNH is in Durham, but if you are renting an apartment in Dover, you will register and vote in Dover, NH. Many students choose to do this because New Hampshire is a swing state.
You may also have the right to vote in your home state via an absentee ballot. If you are considering requesting an absentee ballot from your hometown, you should check with your town clerk to determine the timeline for requesting and submitting your ballot. You can find a College Voting Guide for your home state through the Campus Vote Project. These guides are very clear and informative in explaining your options and giving clear instructions based on the voting laws in your home state.
Regardless of which method you choose, the important thing is to vote!
Student voting is a right that MATTERS, but it is not a given! Several bills relating to the ability of students to vote in New Hampshire were proposed for the 2016-2017 legislative session. You can follow the current status of the student vote issue at the Live Free or Die Alliance website. The Live Free or Die Alliance provides informative, nonpartisan overviews of issues in New Hampshire and is an excellent resource for up-to-date legislation.
Helpful Links for NH College Students
- The Campus Vote Project: Student Voting Guide for New Hampshire
Clear and concise guidelines and helpful FAQs for all NH college students.
- The Live Free or Die Alliance: Student Voting
This nonpartisan, informative website discusses the current legislative status of student voting rights. (Not everyone wants college students to vote.)
- NH Secretary of State: Voting as a College Student in New Hampshire
Overview of current student voting laws as written by the Secretary of State
- UNH Votes
This informational website was created by UNH, but the applies to all NH students.
Percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds who voted in the 2014 elections. The lowest youth turnout rate ever recorded in a federal election.
Percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds who said they were registered to vote in 2014. The lowest in 40 years.
Why Aren’t They Voting?
Many youth voters don’t understand the registration process, miss registration deadlines, or they don’t understand the process of voting while at college. Other don’t register or vote because they are turned off by the current political climate. Either way, today’s youth are the people who will inherit the world our current politicians are creating.
The Power of the Youth Vote
16.2 million youth voters (18- to 24-year-olds) didn’t vote in the 2012 presidential election. The average margin by which a president wins (over the past 4 elections) is only 4.3 million votes. Youth voters have the power to decide almost any election.
It matters. A lot. And you have the power to make a huge difference. Vote!