DIXVILLE NOTCH, NEW HAMPSHIRE // Barack Obama came up a big winner in the presidential race in Dixville Notch and Hart's Location, New Hampshire, where a tradition of having the first Election Day ballots tallied lives on. The Democrat candidate Barack Obama beat his Republican rival John McCain by a count of 15 to 6 in Dixville Notch, where a loud whoop accompanied the announcement. It was the first time Dixville Notch chose the Democratic candidate since 1968.
The town of Hart's Location reported 17 votes for Obama, 10 for McCain and two for write-in Ron Paul, a libertarian leaning congressman who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination. The independent Ralph Nader was on both towns' ballots but got no votes. Hart's Location had favored the Republican candidate in every election since reinstating early voting in 1996. The first Dixville Notch voter, following a tradition established in 1948, was picked ahead of the midnight voting and the rest of the town's 21 registered voters followed suit in Tuesday's first minutes. The town Clerk Rick Erwin said the northern New Hampshire town is proud of its tradition, but added the most important thing is that the turnout represents a 100 per cent vote.
President George W Bush won the votes in Dixville Notch and Hart's Location in 2004 on the way to his re-election. *AP