The First Election Day Ballots were Counted at Midnight, and Someone got Blown Out


Yesterday, President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney completed their final full day of what will go down as one of the most incessant, important, negative and, yes, divisive presidential races in the history of the United States. The two candidates spent their last 24 hours hopscotching through all-important swing states.

Obama stuck to the Midwest, appearing in Wisconsin, then Ohio (where this happened, causing white people the world over to clutch their purses and cry foul), before finishing his campaign in Des Moines Iowa, where he looked, teary-eyed at times, over emotional supporters and delivered his final speech in the place he started his historic 2008 presidential run.

Romney worked his way up the East Coast, starting his day in Florida before flying up to Virginia, briefly stopping in Ohio, and ending with a night speech in Manchester, New Hampshire. Kid Rock showed up to Manchester, too. They’re cool now.

Romney is currently just behind Obama in most national and swing state polls. Liberal Hope’s patron saint, Nate Silver, gives Obama a 92 percent chance of winning on his New York Times blog. So naturally, Romney’s plans to fly to Pennsylvania and back to Ohio today to get two more stumps in to persuade voters who stand in line to see him to leave and go back to the polls. Or something.

By that time, though, votes will have been pouring in for hours, with the first election day ballots counted and announced last night in the state Romney was supposed to finish his campaign: New Hampshire.

The small community of Dixville Notch continued its now 52-year tradition of an Election Day midnight vote where eligible adults cast their ballots at The Balsams, a resort in the town. Ten voted.

New Hampshire’s only worth four electoral votes (as are Rhode Island and Hawaii for comparison. Alaska is worth three.), but it’s a swing state nonetheless. When the Dixville Notch votes were counted, the community was split exactly down the middle: five for Obama and five for Romney, and Twitter was afire with ironic, try-hard tweets about microcosms and recounts and the like, and it got crazy for a second. Then another New Hampshire town, Hart’s Location, voted. Landslide.

Obama carried Hart’s Location 23 votes to Romney’s nine. Gary Johnson got a couple votes, too, but who the fuck is Gary Johnson. Now the president is up 28-14 statewide, and given New Hampshire’s population density, Obama’s probably got four electoral votes wrapped up. Plus, Nate Silver.

No matter the outcome, the few dozen New Hampshire votes sound the official opening bell to what is almost guaranteed to be a nail biter of an election day.