New Hampshire Association of Independent Voters To Host Conference October 14th

Presidential Candidates Invited;
Kucinich, Gravel Confirmed


Executive Editor of The Neo-Independent magazine
Jacqueline Salit will be Featured Speaker

Concord, NH - The New Hampshire Committee for an Independent Voice (NH-CIV), a statewide association of independent voters, will host a conference entitled "Independents' Making our Voices Heard" in Hollis, New Hampshire on Sunday, October 14th, 2007.

Presidential candidates Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel are confirmed to attend with invitations outstanding to the other candidates. Jacqueline Salit, Executive Editor of The Neo-Independent magazine and President of CUIP, a national strategy center for independents to which NH-CIV is affiliated, will be the featured speaker. Members of the academic community and local elected officials are expected to attend along with independent voters from around the state.

Activists with NH-CIV have been meeting with presidential candidates and their staffs since May holding several sit downs with Obama campaign staff, meeting in person with Rep. Dennis Kucinich and speaking with Bill Richardson and John Edwards at small gatherings. They have been a visible presence at campaign events around the state often posing direct questions to the candidates about their views of independent voters as well.

"This is a very exciting time for independent voters," said Russ Ouellette of NH-CIV. "There is a rapidly growing recognition of the importance of independent voters. This conference will allow independents to engage with one another and speak to presidential candidates directly."

In a feature length story about New Hampshire independents the New York Times noted last week that "the fight for independent voters could be important not just in determining the nominees, but also as a preview of the general election battle."

Recently some controversy has arisen over the labels used to define independent voters in the state who are officially called 'undeclared' voters. NH-CIV and CUIP are currently conducting a poll among independents in conjunction with their outreach for the October conference. Among the questions, independents are asked their preferences about how they should be identified by the state. 65% said they preferred to be called an 'independent voter,' only 3% were satisfied the term 'undeclared.'

Respondents are also asked whether they tend to affiliate with a particular party in elections: 67% said it depended on the election, 23% said they tend to affiliate with the Democratic Party and 10% said Republican. In a follow up question directed at those voters who said they did tend to affiliate with one party over another, respondents were asked if they still considered themselves independent voters' 100% of each group said they did, refuting conventional wisdom that so-caller "leaners" are not genuinely independents.

"NH-CIV has been actively organizing," said Betty Ward, a Concord-based leader of the group. "Through its organizational efforts it has been able to confront and to defeat legislation such as HB 154 and HB 196 that would have limited the rights of independents in the political process. It is not only a hope but the goal of NH-CIV to continue organizing and partnering with CUIP and many of the other local independent organizations throughout the nation, to create a political climate that will engage all citizens in a conversation that will allow for full and unobstructed participation of everyone in the political process. If we want our voices heard, it will need to be a collective effort. We invite everyone to join in taking our first steps in changing the conversation in America to include those voices of all Americans."

 NH-CIV and CUIP have proposed to New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner they co-host a conference to examine the status of the independent voter in the Spring of 2008.

Date: Sunday, October 14th 2007

Time: 12:30 pm

Location: Alpine Groves Banquet Facility
19 South Depot Road

Route 111A

Hollis, New Hampshire