Tiny hamlets kick off the New Hampshire primary; Bloomberg wins 5-person town
Three remote hamlets in New Hampshire kicked off the Granite State’s first-in-the-nation primary just after midnight Tuesday, with Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar winning the most Democratic votes so far and Michael R. Bloomberg winning a five-person hamlet even though he wasn’t on the ballot.
Klobuchar won eight votes, and Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont each won four votes. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang got three votes. Former Vice President Joe Biden and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg each won two votes.
Bloomberg, the former New York mayor who entered the race after the deadline to qualify for the ballot, won three as a write-in candidate. One of the write-in votes was from a GOP voter, and all were from the five-person hamlet of Dixville Notch.
His campaign was quick to jump on the news, boasting on Twitter: "@MikeBloomberg got into the race too late to be on the New Hampshire ballot — but not too late to win Dixville Notch!”
Among Republicans, President Trump received 31 votes and former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld received five. Concord native Mary Maxwell received one vote.
In addition to Dixville Notch, the midnight voting took place in Hart’s Location and Millsfield, all isolated New Hampshire communities that have long histories of being the first voters in the state’s first-in-the-nation primary.
As Bernie Sanders solidifies support with progressives, the battle among centrist candidates is poised to rage long after the New Hampshire primary.
Dixville Notch, near the Canadian border, had been in the spotlight for nearly six decades for casting votes just after midnight after latex balloon inventor Neil Tillotson bought the Balsams resort and arranged for the early voting at the hotel. The resort closed in 2011, but voting continued elsewhere. The town’s population fell bellow the five registered voters required to remain a precinct, but a businessman moved there to try to restore the rustic resort.
Hart’s Location, a small town in the White Mountains, started the early-voting tradition in 1948 to accommodate railroad workers who had to be at work before normal voting hours. Hart’s Location suspended the midnight voting in 1964 and brought it back in 1996.
Millsfield, 12 miles south of Dixville Notch, had midnight voting as far back as 1952, but stopped after a while. It revived the tradition in 2016.
Polls were opening later Tuesday in the rest of the state, some starting at 6 a.m. The primary follows last week’s Iowa caucuses, plagued by technical issues that left both Sanders and Buttigieg claiming victory.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
The high stakes of finding a nominee to beat President Trump have left many voters paralyzed with indecision on the eve of New Hampshire’s primary.
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