Tiny Dixville Notch, New Hampshire kicked off primary day at midnight, as is the tradition. There were six votes to be cast. Nikki Haley received all the votes.
The voters in Dixville Notch were described as four registered Republicans and two independents. The process took only a matter of minutes. I watched as voters walked up and put their ballots in a large wooden box. When all ballots were placed in the box, the box was opened. The tally was recorded on a large whiteboard. And, just like that, it was done.
Nikki Haley released a brief statement.
“A great start to a great day in New Hampshire,” Haley said in a statement reacting to the vote minutes after it was recorded. “Thank you Dixville Notch!”
This tradition began with the 1960 election. Two other communities also cast ballots at midnight but they decided to not do so this year. Hart’s Location and Millsfield voters will vote during regular daytime hours today.
“Our population is getting older in Millsfield, and getting up at midnight to go vote is getting harder and harder for our population,” Millsfield election official Shawn Cote previously told WMUR.
A fictionalized version of this tradition with the three neighboring communities voting at midnight was featured in an episode of the West Wing, titled “Hartsfield Landing.” In that show, the lead character, the president, was from New Hampshire.
Registered Republicans and Democrats must vote for a candidate from their party. Independent voters without a party affiliation select a nominee from either party. Joe Biden’s name is not on the New Hampshire ballot. The DNC pushed the beginning of the Democrat primary to South Carolina. Joe Biden has finished poorly in New Hampshire primaries every time he has run for president. The DNC didn’t want an embarrassing moment in New Hampshire so South Carolina will be first for the Democrats. Biden is popular in South Carolina and Rep. James Clyburn rallies Democrats to the polls for Biden. A last-minute write-in campaign for Biden is being promoted now. Democrats may have realized how bad it looks for an incumbent president to ignore the first state’s primary. He also took a pass on the Iowa caucuses, where he also is not popular.
Democrat Dean Phillips is on the ballot in New Hampshire. It will be an embarrassment for him to win the primary and get the publicity for it. You hate to see it happen.
Midnight voting in Dixville Notch has historically been held at the now-dormant Balsams Hotel, which has become a media event over the years.
Recently, with the hotel closed and awaiting redevelopment, there have been questions about whether Dixville Notch would have enough voters, but the tradition has continued.
As its population has dwindled over the years, Dixville Notch’s hold on the mini-contest is a success story for local leaders – and a reason to smile for political junkies eager for an early taste of what’s to come
In 2020, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg won the Democrat primary and Joe Biden won the general election in Dixville Notch. Biden received five votes.
— David Shuster (@DavidShuster) November 3, 2020
— Dixville Vote (@DixvilleVote) November 2, 2020
But Millsfield voted for Trump over Biden 16-10 in 2020.
We’ll see what happens today.
It’s a fun start to primary or election day.