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"Never Too Early" for Granite Staters to Gear Up for NH Primary

PHOTO: Steve Griffin has been guiding civic engagement for AARP New Hampshire in Presidential Primaries since 2007. Tonight, Granite Staters can start making an impact at a non-partisan event at WMUR in Manchester. Credit: Reshma Mehta/AARP
PHOTO: Steve Griffin has been guiding civic engagement for AARP New Hampshire in Presidential Primaries since 2007. Tonight, Granite Staters can start making an impact at a non-partisan event at WMUR in Manchester. Credit: Reshma Mehta/AARP
January 23, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. – Don't look now, but the 100th anniversary of New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary is fast approaching – and tonight, Granite State voters can start getting involved.

Two years is just around the corner when it comes to presidential politics, according to Steve Griffin, a regional field adviser with AARP-New Hampshire.

That's why his group is reaching out now to engage voters who want to make an impact in the primary, which he points out is still a wide open contest.

"A lot of folks really don't understand how easy it is to get involved in the political process, Griffin points out. “They feel like they have to endorse a candidate or take a side, when in reality you can attend a town hall meeting, and raise your hand and ask a question."

Tonight at the WMUR Broadcast Center in Manchester, AARP is hosting the first of many non-partisan civic engagement events.

Griffin has been guiding AARP's activities in New Hampshire primaries since 2007. He is currently coordinating efforts to train local citizens who want to become volunteer leaders on particular issues, or who simply just want to learn more about the process.

"Politicking has become a several year process when you are running for president,” he explains. “We already have folks sniffing around the state. In fact I think they never leave at this point.

“So, we're beginning our work at AARP building up our civic engagement volunteers who have an opportunity to engage with candidates and the media."

Griffin says 50-plus voters are especially likely to vote in New Hampshire, and his group's goal is to make sure they and voters of all ages are educated on the issues.

Tonight's event with James Pindell at WMUR is open to all but you need to reserve a spot by contacting AARP New Hampshire.

Details about the event and how to register are at aarp.org/nh.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH