DIXVILLE NOTCH, N.H. — Residents of two tiny villages in northern New Hampshire headed to the polls at midnight, casting the first election day votes in the nation.
After 43 seconds of voting, Dixville Notch’s 10 votes divided evenly — five for President Obama, five for Republican Mitt Romney.
In the other community, Hart’s Location, which cast its 33 votes in five minutes, 42 seconds, Obama won 23 votes, Romney nine and Libertarian Gary Johnson one.
The towns have enjoyed their first-vote status since 1948, and it’s a matter of pride to get everyone to the polls.
Hart’s Location Selectman Mark Dindorf says you could call it a friendly competition to see who gets votes tallied first, although he says Hart’s Location is a town and Dixville Notch is a precinct.
New Hampshire, a swing state, has four electoral votes. That may not sound like much, but in a tight election it could be decisive. Al Gore learned that the hard way in 2000, when he won the nation’s popular vote but lost in the electoral college to George W. Bush. If Gore had won New Hampshire, he’d have taken the White House.