Iowa and New Hampshire might seem the same, but they are very different.
To much of the country, the early election contests of Iowa, January 3, and New Hampshire, January 8, appear as two largely white, non-urban, voting populations, which are lavished with an inordinate amount of attention every four years from presidential candidates and celebrities, such as Oprah Winfrey, who visited these places this weekend.
Upon further examination of these two states though, there are many qualities that distinguish them.
In New Hampshire, the polls will be open a minimum of eight hours on election day, between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Voting in most communities begins far earlier, such as the 6 start in Manchester. In Iowa, caucuses begin at 6:30 p.m., and voters have until 7 p.m. to arrive for their vote to be counted.
New Hampshire, like most states, allows voters to submit absentee ballots. New Hampshire’s secretary of state has already distributed those ballots to cities and towns. Voting can begin soon. Iowa’s caucus, however, permits no absentee ballots. The demands of the caucus are such that voters must go in person to the meeting place for their precinct at the appointed time and stay until the process is complete.
In New Hampshire, members of the armed services can vote. Soldiers and marines fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan have the same opportunity to cast their votes as veterans of the Korean War. Iowa’s arcane caucus requirements permit no voting-by-proxy which leaves those serving their country out-of-luck and without a franchise in this important contest. Likewise, the caucuses pose a problem for night workers and the elderly, among others.
Read more here.