Sanders, Kasich wins 1st votes in tiny NH community

Last Updated: February 9, 2016
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Bernie Sanders and John Kasich got the highest votes as the first ballots of the first of it kind in nation primary were cast early Tuesday.

Sanders took the highest votes, he won over all four Democratic voters in the tiny town of Dixville, while Kasich walked past Donald Trump, 3-2, among Republicans.

The New Hampshire state law permits communities with fewer than 100 voters can get permission to open their polls at midnight and close them as soon as all registered voters have cast their ballots. As that was going on in the three locations, Dixville traditionally got most of the attention due to its close affinity to the media setup at the Balsams Grand Resort Hotel.

Which is located about 20 miles from the Canadian border, Dixville exists as a town only for voting purposes. The majority of the nine voters are employees of the hotel, an hotel which closed in 2011 but is currently undergoing a major transformation under new owners.

The hotel former owner Neil Tillotson initiated the midnight voting tradition in 1960, maybe it was as a result of the suggestion by a news photographer looking for a better way in getting his pictures out to newspapers ahead of his rivals. In time past, voters cast their ballots in a more private individual booths in the hotel’s posh ballot room. But because of the renovations presently going on, the nine current residents voted in different building on the property, the Hale House.

Back in 2012, there was a tie for first place on the Republican side, with both candidates Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman getting two votes apiece. But Obama got all three Democrats votes.

Hart’s Location, about 80 miles south of Dixville, premiered the hosting of midnight voting in 1948 but stopped after the 1964 election when residents lost interest in the late hours and media frenzy every four years.

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