According to tradition, residents of three New Hampshire locales have been granted the privilege of casting the very first votes in the 2016 elections. At midnight on Tuesday, polling places opened in the unincorporated town of Dixville Notch in Coos County, as well as the town of Hart’s Location in Carroll County. Joining these two towns in this longstanding tradition of midnight voting this year is Millsfield, also in Coos County.
Votes were tallied soon afterward, and now we have our first official election returns of this year’s presidential race. (This tradition is exclusive of early voting days. Those votes obviously count, but why let progress ruin a hokey bit of Americana?)
This year, Dixville Notch residents cast four votes for Hillary Clinton, giving the Democratic candidate the win over Donald Trump, who earned two votes. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson notched one vote, while Green Party candidate Jill Stein did not receive any. In a twist ending, one of the votes cast in Dixville Notch went to Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential candidate.
Meanwhile, voters in Hart’s Location picked Clinton over Trump by a score of 17 to 14. Gary Johnson picked up 3 votes. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) received 2 votes, while a combined John Kasich-Sanders ticket won a single vote.
Finally, the early votes in Millsfield favored Trump, who prevailed over Clinton by a tally of 16 to four. Sanders took one vote.
In 2012, the Dixville Notch vote ended in a draw, with both President Barack Obama and Romney earning five votes apiece. Obama won a more decisive victory in Hart’s Location. The final tally saw the president defeating Romney by a score of 23 to 9. Gary Johnson took home one vote.