DIXVILLE, N.H. -- Donald Trump is off to a very early lead in the 2016 presidential election, winning over the voters of three New Hampshire precincts by a 32-25 margin over Hillary Clinton.
Polls in the tiny New Hampshire towns of Dixville, Hart’s Location and Millsfield opened just after midnight Tuesday and closed as soon as everyone had voted. These die-hard voters are proud to have the first word on the big vote.
Clinton won more votes in Dixville and Hart’s Location, but Trump was the overwhelming favorite in Millsfield, with a 16-4 edge.
Libertarian Gary Johnson picked up three votes. Bernie Sanders, John Kasich and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney got write-in votes.
Under New Hampshire state law, 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.
Thomas Tillotson and Russ Van Deursen differed when they voted for president early Tuesday in Dixville Notch, but they were in solid agreement on one thing.
“It’s very exciting to be the first in the nation,” said Van Deursen. “Your vote is right out there in the small little hamlet that we have of seven or eight voters and it feels like you’re a real part of democracy.” He voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton because “our country needs to move forward and I didn’t believe that a presidency with (Republican) Donald Trump would move forward in a positive way.”
Polls in the town opened just after midnight and closed as soon as everyone had voted.
“It’s an honor and privilege to be first and this is my 11th time doing it and it never gets boring,” said Tillotson, a 71-year-old business consultant who voted for Libertarian Gary Johnson. He said both major parties have “gone in directions that really don’t fit who I am and what I believe.”