The first presidential election results are in – and it’s a tie.
President Barack Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, each received five votes in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.
The town in the state’s northeast corner has opened its polls shortly after midnight each election day since 1960 – but today’s tie was the first in its history.
The result was unexpected, said town clerk Dick Erwin. The town has two registered Democrats, three Republicans and five independents. “Considering the way things are polling around the country, we may have been the first tie of the day,” said town clerk Dick Erwin, noting the national polls showing a virtual dead heat in the race. “Keep your eyes on the news reports, because it’s going to be a wild ride.”
The town, home to about a dozen residents, has drawn national media attention for being the first place in the country to make its presidential preferences known.
Unlike some parts of the country, election officials never have to worry about lack of interest. Dixville Notch has had 100% voter turnout since it started its first-in-the-nation voting tradition.
Under New Hampshire voting law, a poling place can be closed once all registered voters have officially cast their ballots. With all 10 registered voters on hand, the community had its tally shortly after midnight.
However, since 1996, another small New Hampshire town – Hart’s Location – reinstated its practice from the 1940s and also began opening its polls at midnight.
The result there? Obama 23; Romney 9
The result in Dixville Notch is hardly a reliable bellwether for the eventual winner of the White House – or even the result statewide.
Although the community typically leans Republican, residents went for Obama in 2008 – the first time the majority of folks in Dixville Notch went for a Democrat in 40 years.