Ballots are dropped minutes after midnight, becoming the first number of ballots to be cast and counted on Election Day.
Traditionally, all eligible voters gather in the “Voting Chamber” at The Balsams resort in Dixville Notch to vote secretly after the votes open at midnight. After every ballot has been cast, the ballots are checked and the results published – a few hours ago anywhere else, making it a favorite spot for eager reporters and observers with any suggestions on what to expect on Election Day.
Despite the attention, the unincorporated town on the northern tip of New Hampshire isn’t always predicting the final winner, or even the state’s pick.
In 2016, Dixville Notch won the then Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, even though then Republican candidate Donald Trump won the Electoral College.
Nearby Millsfield also opened polls in the middle of the night. Trump won Millsfield 16-5 against Biden.
Officials told WMUR, the pandemic disturbed the midnight voting plan in Hart’s Location, a town further south and in the White Mountains. All 48 voters there could vote during normal daytime instead of the traditional midnight count.
But Dixville Notch voters won’t have to worry about any lines until midnight – only 12 residents of the town as of the 2010 census.
The tradition of early-hour voting has been staged in primary and general elections since 1960, despite the city’s shrinking population and a brief question of how it will preliminarily hold in. February after the town’s chosen person moved, meaning no one was willing to help run the election.
Fortunately for political addicts arrived at Dixville Notch, that position has been filled and the tradition continues for its 60th year.