New Hamp­shire ham­let casts the first US votes

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

The US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion got un­der way-on a small scale-with the seven vot­ers of a tiny New Hamp­shire vil­lage who cast the na­tion’s first bal­lots at the stroke of mid­night. Dixville Notch has had the honor of launch­ing the vot­ing, sym­bol­i­cally, since 1960. Clay Smith was the first of the seven res­i­dents, in­clud­ing five men and two women, to vote as the long awaited elec­tion day be­gan. An eighth per­son voted by ab­sen­tee bal­lot. The tally was an­nounced in a mat­ter of min­utes: the Demo­cratic can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton beat out her Repub­li­can ri­val Don­ald Trump, four to two. Lib­er­tar­ian can­di­date Gary John­son won one vote, and there was a write-in vote for Mitt Rom­ney, the Repub­li­can who lost to in­cum­bent Pres­i­dent Barack Obama in 2012.

Nancy DePalma, a ho­tel worker vot­ing in the vil­lage for the first time, said she backed Clin­ton. “I be­lieve she’s a strong per­son. She’s got the ex­pe­ri­ence. I think she’s go­ing to lead our coun­try in the right direc­tion,” DePalma said. She said she had voted for Bernie San­ders, the pro­gres­sive se­na­tor from neigh­bor­ing Ver­mont, in the Demo­cratic pri­maries. An­other voter, Peter John­son, who has cast his bal­lot here since 1982, said there is a pop­ulist move­ment spread­ing around the world and that no mat­ter who wins the elec­tion, Trump “has done well for this coun­try.”

New Hamp­shire may be one of the small­est US states but Clin­ton and Trump worked un­til the last minute to woo vot­ers here. Clin­ton held a rally in New Hamp­shire on Sun­day, and Trump did so on Mon­day. They are neck and neck in New Hamp­shire as they bat­tle for its four elec­toral votes. An­other of the mid­night vot­ers, Ross Van­deursen, said the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign had been tense and sen­sa­tion­al­ized. “I’m not very proud of the state of the cam­paign we’ve run,” he said. Les­lie Ot­ten, a ho­tel owner, said the vast ma­jor­ity of peo­ple in Amer­ica were not sat­is­fied with Clin­ton or Trump. “That is un­for­tu­nate. But we’ll have to vote,” she said. Two other ham­lets in New Hamp­shire also voted at mid­night. Vot­ing be­gins in earnest at 6:00 am in sev­eral states on the East Coast. — AFP

OAKMONT 8: Don­ald Trump and Hil­lary Clin­ton cook­ies are on sale at the Oakmont Bak­ery in Oakmont, Penn­syl­va­nia. — AFP

OHIO: A woman holds her vot­ing sticker in her hand af­ter cast­ing her bal­lot at the Lee­to­nia Amer­i­can Legion Post 131 obn in Lee­to­nia. — AFP

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