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November 12, 2008

Brainwashed Students Elect Teenybopper

If you've paid attention to the hotly contested political races like the Ram, Zuckerman and Pearson 3-4 battle, you've surely noticed that college voters played a pivotal role in the outcome. But you might not have heard about the Grafton County (NH) treasury battle between Republican incumbent Carrol Elliott and Democrat Vanessa Sievers. Sievers, a 20 year-old Dartmouth student, defeated Elliott by 600 votes out of 42,000 cast.

How did Elliot feel about it? She believes she lost because of "brainwashed" college students, adding that students just voted for the Democratic ticket and Sievers is a "teenybopper." The "real" voters endorsed Elliott on the ballot.

It's hard to argue that Elliott comes off as an immature sore loser, but how valid are her comments? Siever targeted Dartmouth and Plymouth State students, primarily through Facebook. Dartmouth has a total enrollment of less than 6,000 students and Plymouth State has roughly 5,000. Even if all voters from both schools filled in the Democratic ticket, that's about 1/4th of all votes cast. Students may have made a difference but they alone did not decide the election.

Elliott, though, may be right to be upset. Temporary residents are making important decisions for a county, something I bet many full-time residents find alarming. At the same token, if they were truly concerned they would have voted for Elliott. This is the strange, two-sided coin of democracy. It does, however, beg the question — how informed are college students?

Well, what do you guys think?

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