November 3rd, 2008
06:56 PM ET
3 years ago

First town weighs in at midnight

Dixville Notch residents are the first to weigh in.
Dixville Notch residents are the first to weigh in.

(CNN) - The first wave of election returns won't flow in until 7 p.m. ET Tuesday night, but the results in one precinct will be known much sooner.

Dixville Notch, an isolated village located in New Hampshire's northeast corner, will begin voting at the stroke of 12 a.m. Tuesday, and the ballots won't take long to tally: Dixville Notch only has about 20 registered voters.

The town, home to around 75 residents, has opened its polls shortly after midnight each election day since 1960, drawing national media attention for being the first place in the country to make its presidential preferences known - although since 1996, another small New Hampshire town, Hart's Location,reinstated its practice from the 1940s and also opens its polls at midnight.

But the result in Dixville Notch is hardly a reliable bellwether for the eventual winner of the White House or even the result statewide. Though New Hampshire is a perennial swing state, Dixville Notch consistently leans Republican - the last Democrat it picked was Hubert Humphrey over Richard Nixon in 1968.

President Bush also won the town in a landslide in the last two elections: He captured 73 percent of the vote in 2004 (19 residents picked Bush while six preferred Sen. John Kerry), and secured 80 percent of the vote in 2000 (21 votes for Bush, 5 votes for Al Gore.)

But the result could be close this year given Democrats now outnumber Republicans there. According to Donna Kaye Erwin, the supervisor of the voter checklist, Dixville Notch has five registered Democrats, four Republicans, and 11 undeclared voters.

The result could also be a nail biter given the town picked both John McCain and Barack Obama for the New Hampshire Democratic and Republican primaries last January. McCain ultimately won the state of New Hampshire, while Hillary Clinton upset Obama there.

soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. KofTX

    GO OBAMA!!!!

    November 3, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  2. Vote already

    CNN, FOXNEWS, all news organizations want us to believe that this election won't be a landslide. They just want you to come back again and again after the election for non-news like this.

    November 3, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  3. KLEE

    OBAMA/BIDEN PLEASE.

    November 3, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  4. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    I'm a grandmother that put my grandson thru high school.

    I'm sorry Barack lost his grandmother on the day before he becomes President of the United States.

    I know she will rest well, knowing she did the right thing. Just like I did, and just like a lot of you.

    We didn't marry millionires to get us what we wanted, we worked for the people that stood little chance of even surviving.

    November 3, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  5. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    Well, Dixville Notch, if you are reading the blogs, I hope you will vote for CHANGE this year! THANK YOU!

    November 3, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  6. Eric

    LIVE FREE OR DIE!!

    I love my home state, and often wish I could be back there more often. However, while NH consistently has been a Republican state, the conservatism of NH is not the conservatism of Bush and the Republican party over the last eight years. Many Rs in NH feel betrayed by a cohort of Republican leaders who sold out traditional conservatism at the altar of power, and allowed the far right Southern conservative plantocracy to take over the party.

    Fie on them!!!

    November 3, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  7. Arizona for McCain

    McCain will pull this election off, and win tomorrow. He always does. God bless America that a true hero will lead our country.

    November 3, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  8. INDEPENDENT

    GET REAL

    November 3, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  9. Zinger

    I hope they have early voting in Dixville Notch, that way we will know the winner just a minute past midnight.

    November 3, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  10. Arthur James

    I'm surprised neither candidate has gone there.

    November 3, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  11. aliou, FL

    Easily cheated or fix 20 votes./

    November 3, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  12. A Woman In California For Obama

    It doesn't matter a vote is a vote.

    Welcome.

    November 3, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  13. Tiaunia - DALLAS, TEXAS

    Cant wait!

    Obama/Biden all the way!

    November 3, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  14. THE END OF AMERICA by OBAMA

    God help this country be smart enough NOT to vote for obama.
    We done need what he wants to do to this country.

    November 3, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  15. The World for Obama

    It is unfortunate that a place which has so much scenic beauty is plagued with so many Republicans.

    November 3, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  16. george from alaska

    adios mcfalin!

    November 3, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  17. Ex-Republican for Obama

    Would be great if they came out the gates for Obama. That would be a way to make headlines. Being traditionally red and moving to blue in one of the most popular and talked about elections in modern history.

    November 3, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  18. California Gold

    November 4 is gonna be a long day. I don't think this is going to be a landslide election. Haven't had one in a long time. Hope and pray Obama and Biden win. I'm so tired of listening to John and Cindy McCain and Sarah Palin.

    November 3, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  19. Dominican for Obama

    Few more hours before we elect our new president "Obama". God Bless Your Family and ours.

    November 3, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  20. Donna

    Why on earth is McCain still doing all these campaign stops all over the country, he is way too old for this much stuff .... He doesnt have a chance to win, EVERY poll and Every person with half a brain knows Obama and the Democrats are going to win in one landslide victory after another.. Americans are tired of the BUSH ways and all who support him and his horrible policies that have almost ruined the greatest nation known to man .... And it wasnt like the GOP can say they didnt know what they were getting ... they knew ..........and thats what they wanted ......... To rob america and her citizens blind ...... As soon as OBAMA gets in he should start investigations of the entire BUSH CABINET and every policy Bush pushed through should be reviewed .......CLOSELY ................... It will take DECADES to fix this mess the GOP and BUSH has put our great nation in but we will survive a lot wiser a lot more broke but I pray we never let the GOP in control of anything but themselves .....

    November 3, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  21. anon

    Go McCain!! Silent majority rise up. Do you duty and put John McCain in the White House!!

    November 3, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  22. KU_FAN

    End of America by Obama......Care to translate your post for us, because it doesn't even make sense.

    Obama/Biden 08!!!!!!!

    November 3, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  23. charles

    Hey, that picture is from the primaries!

    lol...

    November 3, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  24. PoliticoMike

    I sobbed and teared for a man and family I've never met. I too was raised by grandmother and love her more than anything. That generation of women are tough, I tell you! I have to call mine and tell her I love her.
    I hope his and his mom are looking down at their boy right now and make tomorrow a lot brighter for him and America.

    November 3, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  25. CaucAsian for O

    I wish all the racist red-necks out there would get a clue and realize that McCaine and Palin represent all the ignorant, selfish people out there who are all acting far from american. This country sure has a long way to go...This election WILL be a landslide, you just wait....

    November 3, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
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