The First Election Day Results Are Already In, Thanks To A Quirky Old Law
Two small rural communities in New Hampshire cast their ballots just after midnight on Tuesday ― and, thanks to a quirk in state election law, they’ve also tallied the vote and released the results.
The first ballot was cast by lifelong Republican Les Otten, who voted for Biden and explained his decision in a video:
The small community of Millsfield finished its vote shortly after Dixville Notch, with Trump having better luck: He beat Biden 16-5. Trump also received 16 votes there in 2016, versus 5 for Clinton.
A third community, Hart’s Location, also typically holds a midnight vote but canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mark Dindorf, chairman of the Hart’s Location Board of Selectmen, told WMUR it was for the health and safety of the 48 voters as well as poll workers.
“It’s a hard thing to let go of,” he lamented.
They will cast their ballots from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. instead.
Biden is expected to easily win New Hampshire, with FiveThirtyEight’s polling average giving him an 11.1-percentage-point lead over Trump in the Granite State.
New Hampshire law allows for communities with fewer than 100 people to open their polls at midnight and close when everyone has cast a ballot.
In the past, they were the self-described “first in the nation” voters, a designation that’s been antiquated by the rise of early voting.
This year, for example, about 100 million others have already cast ballots around the nation.