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William Jeffrey Stevens casts the first vote in Dixville's presidential primary balloting which was held just after midnight Tuesday at the Hale House at the Balsams Resort. (JOHN KOZIOL/Union Leader Correspondent)

Kasich, Sanders win early voting in Dixville


DIXVILLE – Despite being closed since 2011, the tradition of early voting at The Balsams Resort in New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary continued on Tuesday morning, just a stroke past midnight.

Nine votes were cast, with Ohio Gov. John Kasich getting three votes to Donald Trump's two for the Republican presidential nomination while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders captured all four Democratic votes cast.

Dixville has four registered Republicans, four Undeclareds and a lone Democrat. Moderator Tom Tillotson said the Undeclareds took three Democratic ballots and one Republican.

The balloting in Dixville at the Hale House lasted about ten seconds, with William Jeffrey Stevens, the construction manager for the proposed redevelopment of The Balsams having the honor of voting first, his name drawn from a hat.

Also a resident of the Hale House, which was the home of a former owner of The Balsams and most recently was used in conjunction with the resort's culinary arts program, Stevens said he was proud to be part of history.

"It's a privilege to vote,” he said, adding that his post-primary plans included going back to work "after a good night's sleep.”

"I love America,” said Stevens, who said he voted for a Republican but declined to say who.

Les Otten, the former ski industry executive who is leading the redevelopment of The Balsams and also is living onsite fulltime, said he voted for Kasich, even though he is friends with the Bush family and considers former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush a strong second.

Otten said Kasich is a sensible candidate who's been able to keep above the sometimes silly fray of his fellow candidates.

Ground will be broken on the Balsams project his spring or early summer, said Otten, who hoped that the tradition of early voting – started in 1960 by Neil Tillotson – will continue for a long time.

Asked whether Dixville has guided how the rest of New Hampshire and America vote, Otten laughed and conceded that "sadly, there's not a lot of truth to that.” He did note, though, that Dixville has been much more successful in picking the eventual presidential candidates so "we get it half right."

Millsfield, Hart’s Location also cast midnight votes

Dixville was one of three Granite State locations voting at midnight.

In Hart’s Location, a town with a population of 43 that claims to have originated the midnight voting tradition in 1952 to accommodate the schedules of railroad workers, Kasich also edged out Trump, 5 votes to 4, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gathering 2 votes. Bush, neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio one vote each.

Sanders had the most votes on the Democratic side again, with 12, followed by Clinton with 7, but it was the third name gathering 2 votes that surprised some. It was not Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who dropped out of the Democratic race after Iowa, but Mark Stewart Greenstein, a self-described “liberty-leaning Democrat” who was the first to file for the Primary back in November, according to NECN.

In Millsfield, a small township just south of Dixville, Clinton was given a win on the Democratic side, edging Sanders 2 votes to 1. On the Republican side, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz won handily with 9 votes, followed by Trump with 3 and Bush, Christie, Kasich, Rubio, former CEO Carly Fiorina, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul - who also suspended his campaign after Iowa - with 1 vote each.

Early Election Results

Republicans

Dixville Notch         
  Cruz Trump Kasich Christie Rubio Bush Carson Fiorina Paul
  0 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0
Hart's Location         
  Cruz Trump Kasich Christie Rubio Bush Carson Fiorina Paul
  0 4 5 2 1 1 1 0 0
Millsfield         
  Cruz Trump Kasich Christie Rubio Bush Carson Fiorina Paul
  9 3 1 1 1 1 0 1 1
Totals         
  Cruz Trump Kasich Christie Rubio Bush Carson Fiorina Paul
  9 9 9 3 2 2 1 1 1

Democrats

Dixville Notch   
  Sanders Clinton Greenstein
  4 0 0
Hart's Location   
  Sanders Clinton Greenstein
  12 7 2
Millsfield   
  Sanders Clinton Greenstein
  1 2 0
Totals   
  Sanders Clinton Greenstein
  17 9 2
..