Approximately 93 million eligible voters in the United States did not cast a ballot in the 2012 presidential election, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center’s 2012 Voter Turnout Report.
Actor Tim Daly, known for his roles in “Private Practice,” “Madam Secretary” and “Wings,” traveled throughout New Hampshire on Tuesday, Oct. 18, campaigning for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and encouraging Granite State residents to vote on Election Day. His second stop of the day was at 10 a.m. in front of Horton Hall at UNH, where he enthusiastically took photos, signed autographs, talked to passersby and beseeched students to vote.
“I think every vote is important, but particularly young people; they’re making a choice now that is going to affect their lives for a long time to come,” Daly said. “The direction of our country is at stake, for people to say that it doesn’t matter or to be complacent about it, I think is naive.”
New Hampshire is an important swing state according to UNH senior College Democrats member and Clinton Campaign fellow Alana Davidson. Though the Granite State is small, holding only four electoral votes, Davidson said that historically those votes have gone to either the Democratic or the Republican party. The winning party then holds an advantage, which is why Davidson said it is so important for New Hampshire residents to vote, regardless of who it is for.
Davidson said that New Hampshire will also determine the senate majority depending on who wins in November: Democratic New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan or Republican incumbent Senator Kelly Ayotte.
“The state [New Hampshire] is split pretty evenly not looking at college students,” Davidson said. “We have a large number of votes on our campus that could go either way.”
Daly is not new to New England. He said that as a kid he attended camp in Keene and has also spent time living in Vermont. He said that he thinks New Englanders are practical and free thinking people, and also that he hopes they will therefore make the decision to vote on Nov. 8, preferably for Clinton. Daly said that by not voting, citizens are “abdicating” an important aspect of American citizenship.
“Not voting is not making a point at all,” Daly said. “No one is going to register it as a protest or as some kind of statement about the state of affairs of the country. It’s just going to seem like they don’t care.”
Junior therapeutic recreation major Kyla Madden was among the dozens of students who stopped and talked politics with Daly on Tuesday morning. Madden, a huge fan of Daly, discussed how celebrity stumping may be the one little thing students need to take 30 seconds out of their busy day to learn about the election and voting. Madden said that when students see people they look up to engaged in politics, it encourages them to do the same.
“Your vote matters everywhere,” Madden said. “But it really matters in states like New Hampshire.”
The election is less than three weeks away, and undecided voters must soon make their decision between the two candidates. Daly said that he believed that one of these candidates has had a life-long devotion to public service, while the other has been devoted to only self-service.
“I think that the people of the United States would rather have someone who is interested in helping the public than just helping themselves,” Daly said.