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. marianna

    If many blacks vote for Obama because he's black, why is racist for whites to vote for McCain because he's white?

    November 3, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  2. Obama Supporter from South Carolina

    My family already voted for Senator Obama.

    "TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE OBAMA/BIDEN 08!!!!!!!!

    November 3, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  3. DeVone

    I hope that John Mcain donot win people this country
    is in ruin and we need the get our country in shape
    and a real change and for people to vote for John McCain
    is not cool you'r truth is that you donot want a black man
    as president

    November 3, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  4. aware

    Vote wisely!

    Which is better for our economy: Obama redistributing our wealth or McCain growing more wealth?

    Obama will take more money from the Americans who already pay the great majority of income taxes and “spread the wealth” to many who don’t even pay taxes to begin with in the form of a government check. :(

    Obama thinks it is his right to redistribute wealth, but it certainly isn’t the view of the average American worker, and it is obviously wrong.

    McCain thinks the way for America to prosper is to leave Americans with more of their income, allowing them to do what they do best - create the businesses, jobs, and opportunities that drive our vast economy.

    Government has to be paid for, and that money comes from guys like Joe the plumber. Politicians can either bleed him dry to fund their programs, or they can encourage Americans to create more jobs and more wealth – and keep government limited and effective.
    Obama does not include survivors of botched abortions in his "the least of these!" :)

    It is your choice!

    This former democrat and Hillary supporter voted for McCain/Palin 08! They are America's only choice for authentic reform! :)

    November 3, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  5. mikeyjoe

    Hey Julius caesar Barack,

    Mr. EEl – slippery, stealth, rookie with big-time liberal views.

    After election – who ya gonna call when Israel Bombs Iran _ ghostbusters or Cnn??

    Prove yourself and leave the world "world" out of your enormous ego pitch. You're a meglamaniac by psychological definition, and it shows more and more - dangerous!~!!

    November 3, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  6. Karen - Missouri

    We want information about the STATE electoral college votes. Time for popular vote later.

    November 3, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  7. dave bryant

    If we elect McCain to the White House ,we will have put a crotchety senile has been in charge of this counrty and Palin will be the Dunce Cap on America!!!!!!!

    November 3, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  8. Marie in Georgia

    vote,vote,vote, GOTV!!!! get out and vote. Get up early and vote. Be patient stay in the long lines, vote, video your vote. vote, vote, vote, every vote counts!!!!

    November 3, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  9. soumah

    May god help this great nation for a right choice.I hope america winm in the process

    November 3, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  10. soumah

    Democracy is beautiful. American political culture is exciting

    November 3, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  11. mrkusn

    The little town in NH will not be much or a barometer for tomorrow. What is telling about tomorrow is that this election has pitted one generation against another. The majority of younger folks are going for Obama whether they are former Republicans or not. John McCain just has not captured the pulse of the upcoming generation. Obama speaks the language of the Gen X and millennials. Obama has targeted independants like me and has won me over-even though I am a traditional evangelical Gen Xer who voted for the GOP in the last four elections.

    Critics of Obama says he has no substance and that he is all style. I guess they need to clear their ears a little and pay attention. If anything, it has been McCain who has repeated the same old GOP mantra since the early 80's.

    Obama represents a shift from the old paradigms in politics.

    November 3, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  12. pray

    May God tonight give us his patience – - – -

    Our Country is at the most critical junction of our young lives – - –

    May greed and our lies be past us – - – -

    Amen – - – -

    Now – go VOTE!

    November 3, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  13. Carlos

    It is reaaly sad and quite telling how some individuals in this are so willing to demonstrate their stupidity in spewing their nonsense.

    Most (indeed, if not all) the trash talking that goes on here is done by the grossly misinformed.

    This is the caliber of voters out there; if that doesn't frighten you, nothing will!!

    November 3, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  14. Go McCain/Palin

    My family and I are voting for,

    McCain/Palin 08!!!!!!!

    November 3, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  15. CanadianforChange

    Greetings, neighbours!

    I have observed the damage done by the extreme right wing for far too long now, and look forward to seeing some positive change on this continent. Get out there and Vote! Be part of the process, no matter how long it takes.

    Condolences to Mr. Obama on the death of his beloved grandma. I had hoped she would live long enough to see him elected. May she rest in eternal peace.

    Obama/Biden '08 :)

    November 3, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  16. Dan

    OBAMA!!!

    November 3, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  17. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    Hey Marianna.....I got a little secret for you. Yes there will be some blacks vote for Obama because he's black, BUT there will be more that vote for him because he's a Democrat! Check the history of Afro- American voters and you'll find this is true.

    November 3, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  18. blue voice red state

    "This former democrat and Hillary supporter voted for McCain/Palin 08! They are America's only choice for authentic reform!"

    I'm sorry, I just can't stop laughing at this sentence. Carry on.

    November 3, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  19. dgs Louisville

    Vote Obama-Biden 08! Vote Dem if your state has a Senate race! We need that magic 60. The icing on the cake will be for Mitch McConnell to lose his Senate seat. McConnell = Bush!

    November 3, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  20. TJ from Canada

    Watch CNN election news nightly...always with great interest! So hoping America gives Obama the opportunity to show what he can do. He has so much potential...wish I could vote! Wondering as I watch the long early voting lineups....what happens if there all still long lines when polls close?

    November 3, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  21. Jeff from Jersey

    I guess they don't get much news up there.

    November 3, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  22. Soccer mom from Canada

    I wish you guys a peaceful and smooth election.

    November 3, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  23. Texas Teacher

    I just got home.... I just read here that Obama's Grandmother has crossed over to the other side. May all God's blessing be with her as she makes this last journey home.

    May God bless Barack Obama and his family in this time of sorrow.

    P.S. I hope he has the good news that he will be the President of the United States of American tomorrow. I wish his beloved Grandmother could have lived to share the moment with him! I know she will rejoice with him tomorrow night in her true home.

    November 3, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  24. roshi

    Obama has got to win this...the option is unthinkable.

    November 3, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  25. BrnEyeSuss

    Soccer Mom from Canada, Your post, was the kindest, sweetest post I have read all election,,,,Thank You

    Go Obama !

    November 3, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
1 2 3