November 6th, 2012
01:25 AM ET
2 years ago

Battleground Blog: The first votes are counted

EDITOR'S NOTE: CNN has sent dozens of reporters, producers, contributors and correspondents to the key battleground states to cover the final days of the 2012 election. The following dispatch is from CNN's Vivian Kuo in New Hampshire.

(CNN) - We’re driving towards Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, seated way up in the northernmost part of the state, sandwiched by Maine, Vermont and Canada.

This tiny hamlet is buzzing – and for good reason: both Dixville Notch and its southern neighbor, Hart’s Location, have the distinction of casting the first ballots in the country on Election Day.

Watch CNN's comprehensive coverage of Election Day starting at 6 p.m. ET Tuesday on CNN TV and follow online at CNN.com or via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. For up-to-the-minute results, go to cnn.com/results and for our real-time Election Day live blog, check out cnn.com/conversation. Need other reasons to watch Election Day coverage on CNN's platforms? Click here for our list.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

As we arrive at The Balsams Ski Lodge in Dixville, the thermometer reads a brisk 29 degrees and snow flurries are coming down so fast, the parking lot is obscured by a white carpet in no time.

But there’s no concern by city officials about a low turnout. In fact, Dixville Notch, population 10, has had 100% voter turnout since it started its first-in-the-nation voting tradition in 1960.

Inside the ski lodge, we find framed front pages of periodicals and pictures of past presidents visiting this proud community. A wooden sign emblazoned with Dixville Notch’s “First in the Nation” status hangs grandly on the wall.

Dixville Notch’s voters this year are made up of three registered Republicans, two Democrats, and five independents – a microcosm of New Hampshire as a whole, where the two presidential candidates are in a statistical dead heat. This state contributes four key electoral votes in this election that appears, at least at the outset, to be incredibly close.

It’s now just a few minutes to midnight on Election Day, and Dixville Notch’s residents have lined up to receive their ballots. One by one, they drift over to the polling booths to cement their candidates, while a semicircle of journalists watch their every move.

At the stroke of midnight, these 10 voters, some with dramatic flourish, ceremoniously drop their votes into a padlocked wooden ballot box.

According to New Hampshire law, once all registered voters have officially cast their ballots, the polling place can be officially closed.

The lodge thrums with anticipation while the town clerk tabulates the results, completed within mere minutes.

And for the first time in its history, Dixville Notch’s presidential picks end in a tie – five for Barack Obama, five for Mitt Romney – echoing what national polling has found: this election is too close to call.


Filed under: Battleground Blog
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. peety

    There's something a little fishy about this Romney dude!

    November 6, 2012 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  2. J.V.Hodgson

    So the likelihood is 3 Republicans voted Romney 2 Democrats voted Obama and now if it is a tie how did independents vote 3 Obama 2 Romney. If that 60/40 split of independents repeats accross the nation time for Romney et al to really be worried.
    It's FUN as news piece but about as relevant to the whole as an inappropriate statistical poll sample.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    November 6, 2012 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  3. Gurgyl

    Obama12. God bless!!!

    November 6, 2012 04:52 am at 4:52 am |
  4. clarke

    what a fun tradition.

    November 6, 2012 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  5. Squigman

    10 voted. 5 were duped into voting for their oppressors. You decide which two screwed up.

    November 6, 2012 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  6. Rameses007

    Great, I hope we don't have a long night ahead.

    November 6, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  7. Minnie Mouse

    I am counting on one of these votes. I think the end results needs to be a tie, so Romney can do the balancing act, obama can do the comedy act, toss in the women in binders for a great juggling act. This will be great for PBS, to watch. lol

    Maybe they could hire in one of the women in the binders, to have two men and a lady instead of two men and a baby. lol
    Someone needs to hold the fort down with the two of them while they are slinging zingers at each other all the time.

    I guess, all anyone can do is vote and wait to see what the real results will be.

    November 6, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  8. DANNYTER

    I am fully disgusted with the voting process!!! The military hasn't got their ballots? There are areas still with out power and it's really cold with another storm moving in. There are dead people voting. Some of the machines are changing who the person voted for? And, on top of it all, God knows when we'll finally find out who won... Voting should have ended today, and we should have been able to know who won by this weekend!!! GO ROMNEY!!!

    November 6, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |