New Hampshire: Voting takes 43 secs and the winner is... no one


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The Independent US

If the US election race could be summed up by a single American town it would tiny Dixville Notch in New Hampshire, which became the first to announce its results yesterday – a tie.

Dixville Notch in Coos County was one of the two towns to be the first in America to cast their votes yesterday, in what polls indicated would be a neck-and-neck race for the White House.

It took only 43 seconds for Dixville's 10 eligible voters to put their papers in the ballot box shortly after midnight local time, and the result was the first to be announced – five votes for the incumbent, President Barack Obama, and five votes for the Republican challenger Mitt Romney – the first tie in the town's presidential voting history.

"I think the country is lucky in a way to have two good candidates," Dixville Notch voter Tom Tillotson told the Associated Press. "But, given the choice, I think we could move faster, further with a [proven] leader in business and economic issues. That's why I've supported Mitt Romney."

According to the village clerk, Dixville Notch has two registered Democrats, three Republicans and five independents, indicating a swing towards Mr Obama. Despite having only four electoral votes, New Hampshire has been a key battleground state in the closely fought race, where both campaigns have targeted swing voters.

The 33 electors in the second town to vote, Hart's Location, also in New Hampshire, were rather more decisive. Mr Obama won 23 votes, while Mr Romney took nine. Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson took two votes.

The towns' early voting traditions began in 1948, when many of the residents were railroad workers who had to be at work during the normal polling hours.