Dartmouth News staff members have been filing reports from campus.
Total voter turnout in Hanover was 7,171, just shy of the 2016 turnout, but the absentee vote of 4,516 in the 2020 presidential election in town smashed all records at nearly two-thirds of the total votes cast.
Russell Muirhead, the Robert Clements Professor of Democracy and Politics, won a New Hampshire House seat, joining the four-member delegation in Concord representing Hanover and Lyme. Muirhead received 5,298 votes in Hanover Tuesday, second only to Rep. Sharon Nordgren, who won her 17th term in the New Hampshire House.
Although the presidential race remained too close to call nationally on Wednesday, former Vice President Joe Biden won Hanover, with 6,210 votes to President Donald Trump's 841 votes.
The other Dartmouth-linked candidate on the ballot in Hanover, U.S. Rep. Ann McLane Kuster '78, won Hanover with 5,915 votes, versus 964 votes for challenger Steve Negron. Kuster also carried the state to win a fifth term in Congress representing New Hampshire's 2nd District.
Hanover Town Clerk Betsy McClain thanked Dartmouth for opening Leverone Field House to allow for safe voting during the pandemic. "We couldn't have done this election without the response from the campus on so many fronts—the facility, the staffing, the moral support, the on-campus events—it's been a really great partnership," she says.
While voters across the country took to the polls on Nov. 3, there were, as expected, no definitive results on election night. Professor of Government Brendan Nyhan discusses the current state of the presidential race as well as potential outcomes and implications.
As polls close across the country, check out live commentary from Dartmouth faculty and alumni on the 2020 election.
Neither wet snow as the polls opened nor passing through COVID-19 public health checkpoints to enter the polling place could discourage Dartmouth community members from exercising their right to vote in the 2020 presidential election. See all our photos from the day.
Hanover Town Clerk Betsy McClain gets the tally tape off of a ballot machine at Leverone Tuesday night.
Students gathered in small groups around campus and virtually for a 2020 Presidential Election Night Watch Party hosted by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy after the polls closed in New Hampshire Tuesday.
Hosting the live gatherings were organizations across the campus, including in Collis Common Ground, Cutter Shabazz, One Wheelock, in the Rockefeller Center, and in tents outside Streeter and Wheeler residence halls.
In welcoming viewers to the event, Jason Barabas '93, director of the Rockefeller Center, noted that it was good to have students in spaces that have been vacant for most of the term, even if they were there for just a short time.
The featured guest, Chip Reid, a CBS national correspondent (who, in the interest of full disclosure, mentioned that he formerly worked for Joe Biden), sketched out possible scenarios in the event of a Biden or Trump victory. The short version is that either outcome could mean unrest and discord in a country that is so polarized, he said.
Questions from students attending the event included, what will the large number of absentee ballots mean for the election? Could the Supreme Court decide the election? What can be done to heal civic society in America?
As the watch party closed, results were beginning to come in from several states, and Reid and moderator Justin Anderson, vice president for communications, cautioned that it is going to be a long night.
Voting at Leverone Field House went off without a hitch, with the only significant line forming before the polls opened at 7 a.m. and the COVID-19 health precautions barely slowing things down. To get a sense of the scene in Hanover during the historic 2020 election, take this virtual trip to the polls.
11/3/2020 | 6:22 p.m.
The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy hosts a 2020 Presidential Election Night Watch Party at 7 tonight on Zoom.
Hosted by Jason Barabas '93, director of the Rockefeller Center, and moderated by Justin Anderson, vice president for communications, the event will feature analysis by Chip Reid, CBS national correspondent. Among the questions on tap: What would a Biden victory mean? What would a Trump victory mean? And is this a turning point in American history?
For more information, visit the Rockefeller Center website.
11/3/2020 | 4:15 p.m.
Dartmouth students participated in the democratic process this year not only by registering to vote and casting their ballots but also by volunteering to work at the polls. The Hanover Selectboard appointed seven Dartmouth students to serve as ballot clerks for the town, and had to turn many away because of the limited number of slots.
Volunteer Leah Brams '20 said her five-hour shift as a ballot clerk "flew by."
Brams has experience with the political process—staffing phone banks and sending mailings—but helping at the polls "feels like the most positive things I've done in a while," she says. "And, weirdly, one of the least partisan."
Nearby, Veronica Kelly '22 spent the morning directing voters to the correct ballot tables, which were organized by last name. In the past, she had done political fundraising and chalking, but today was her first time working with voters face-to-face.
"It was nice to see a lot of different people, especially people I know," says Kelly. She said she was glad voters seem to be taking the election more seriously than they did in 2016. With good turnout across the board, "it seems like everyone is getting more involved, including myself," she says. "So, it's nice to see."
Nearly a third of the town's election volunteers this year are Dartmouth students, says Hanover Town Clerk Betsy McClain. "They have really stepped forward. It's been wonderful because they were responding to the nationwide news that elections are generally staffed by older volunteers who are more susceptible to the health crisis that we're in."
11/3/2020 | 3:09 p.m.
11/3/2020 | 1:46 p.m.
"I voted this morning. Please make sure you exercise your right to vote today, too," says President Philip J. Hanlon '77.
"I was glad to see students voting and waiting in line to vote," President Hanon says. "Today marks the culmination of Dartmouth students' unique opportunity to see presidential retail politics up close from the start—the New Hampshire primary—and to meet candidates as they pass through Hanover."
Hanlon congratulated town of Hanover voting officials and volunteers for setting up an efficient operation in Leverone Field House. For public health reasons, Dartmouth had agreed to let the town use Leverone instead of holding voting in the traditional location, Hanover High School. Dartmouth's asymptomatic COVID-19 surveillance testing, which had been held in Leverone, will return to the field house tomorrow.
11/3/2020 | 12:20 p.m.
As the 2020 presidential election season unfolded, James Wright, president emeritus was reminded of another historic election day, and an experience at Dartmouth 12 years ago.
"I was thinking about 2008 recently and pulled out this picture," recalls Wright. When President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, a celebratory group of students appeared in front of Wright's house and asked if he would talk to them about the election.
"I was so touched that the students came over to the President's House," he says. "I recall speaking to them and telling them that 50 years ago, in 1958, I had spent some time in Mississippi. Jim Crow Mississippi. And then I could not have imagined the thrill of seeing the Obama election."
11/3/2020 | 11 a.m.
Solenne Wolfe and Rujuta Pandit, both '24s, were expecting a long wait at the polls for their first time voting in a presidential election, so they and another friend walked to Leverone early Tuesday morning.
As it turned out, things moved quickly. "They have a ton of voting booths," says Pandit.
"It really only hit me when I was filling in a ballot for president," Wolfe says. "I feel like this was a really meaningful first election."
11/3/2020 | 9:50 a.m.
The long line outside Leverone Field House when the polls first opened ended as election workers quickly processed voters, even while taking pandemic health precautions. Voters were required to wear masks, have their temperature taken, and answer health-screening questions in order to enter the building.
"This is the most seamless operation I've ever seen," says Jimmy Cronin '22, a government major. "It's perfect for the amount of people and the COVID restrictions."
Cronin showed up early expecting line lines, and was surprised to be able to cast his ballot with only a short wait. "This is the earliest I have gotten up in months," he says.
11/3/2020 | 8 a.m.
Election workers began counting absentee ballots at 8 a.m. on Tuesday under revised election rules issued in response to the pandemic, making it likely that results for Hanover, and the whole state of New Hampshire, will be in on election night, says Hanover Town Clerk Betsy McClain.
This year, Hanover received 4,280 absentee ballots—more than half the total number of votes cast in 2016—making this year's vote a new record for the town. The total number of ballots cast in the 2016 presidential election was just under 8,000, with about 1,200 of those being cast absentee.
Election workers began processing the absentee ballot outer envelopes in a public event on Saturday afternoon and found only nine ballots that needed to be flagged for a missing signature or other problems. Those voters were contacted and given the opportunity to correct problems in person, McClain says.
"If an absentee voter hasn't heard from the town moderator, they can be sure their ballot was received and accounted for," McClain says.
11/3/2020 | 7 a.m.
More than 100 people waited in the wet snow outside Leverone Field House at 7 a.m. Tuesday as the polls opened. Voters, a large number of them Dartmouth students, stood 6 feet apart in a line that stretched down Park Street along the outfield fence of Red Rolfe Field.
Madaket Nobili '22 walked her blue bicycle alongside her as she moved ahead in the line, excited to vote in her first presidential election.
"In the last election I felt pretty involved as a high school student, but I was not old enough to vote. It was frustrating. So this feels really good," says Nobili, a Hispanic studies and biology double major.
Hanover election officials say they are prepared for a record turnout of some 8,500 votes cast in the general election this year, with about 500 new voters expected to register at the polls today. That number is in addition to the 600 residents who registered last month to vote in Hanover.
11/2/2020 | 12 p.m.
As the Dartmouth community gears up for Election Day, Dartmouth News will provide live updates from campus throughout the day Tuesday. For most students, voting for the next president brings their political experience full circle, as Dartmouth offers an unusual opportunity for college students to have a front-row seat at the New Hampshire presidential primary. Many of the students voting in this election have gotten a chance to meet and talk with the whole array of presidential contenders all the way back to 2019.
Students planning to register at the polls on Election Day will need proof of identity and age, including any current driver's license or a Dartmouth ID, and proof of citizenship, including a passport or copy of a birth certificate. If none of these are available, the registering voter can sign an affidavit affirming this information. Naturalized citizens must present the name of the court, the city, and the date of naturalization to the town registration official at the polls.
Undergraduates living in campus housing do not need to bring additional paperwork to show proof of Hanover residence. It will be confirmed on site by the town supervisors. For more information, see the Office of Student Life voter registration page.
During the Oct. 28 Community Conversations webcast, Provost Joseph Helble encouraged students to get out and vote, noting that students are able to register throughout the day on Nov. 3. Students can also volunteer as election workers "as long as they remain masked and socially distanced" and stay within the communities outlined in the Community Expectations, he said.
Because voting will take place in Leverone Field House, there will be no COVID-19 testing at that location Monday, Nov. 2, or Tuesday, Nov. 3. Testing hours will be extended on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of next week to accommodate the change. The voting site, which is being run by the town of Hanover, has been moved from its usual location at Hanover High School to Leverone for COVID-related public health reasons. All voters entering the polls must wear a mask, maintain a 6-foot distance from others, and have their temperature checked at the door.