By Kirstan Lukasak, M.A. in English Student
In February, New Hampshire residents were the “First in the Nation” as they took to the polls to cast the first presidential primary votes in the country.
Yet before most polling booths even opened, one tiny town in northern New Hampshire had voted, tallied and announced the results by a few minutes after midnight.
Since 1952 residents of Dixville Notch have gathered at midnight in the Ballot Room of the Balsams Grand Resort Hotel to cast their votes for the next presidential candidate.
Since every registered voter is accounted for and given the opportunity to vote — nine total this year — polls can be closed and ballots can be tallied and announced to the nation within minutes. Media from around the world descend on the tiny town every four years to broadcast the results.
According to New Hampshire Public Radio, the New Hampshire primary has been known to pick presidential candidates. Since 1976 five Republican nominees won the Granite State, with two becoming president. During the same period, New Hampshire has picked five Democratic nominees, but only one became president.