By Terri Ogan–1/9/2012
Dixville Notch is staying traditional. It is the first town in New Hampshire to vote in the nation’s first primary.
Although the custom has not changed, this is the first time in 52 years that the famous Balsams Grand Hotel Resort will not be open for guests.
The resort has been home to the Dixville Notch voters since 1960 and is currently under massive renovations due to new ownership. Hotel spokesman Scott Tranchemontagne said that despite the construction, the new Balsams owners are determined to keep this political tradition alive.
“The owners felt so strongly about preserving this tradition,” Tranchemontagne said, “that they’ve opened up the hotel for today only so that the people of Dixville can come and vote.”
At the stroke of midnight, all nine registered Dixville Notch voters will enter their individual voting booths to cast their primary votes. The voters, the public, and about 150 media outlets will then assemble in the Captain’s Study to read the results. This process usually takes about ten minutes.
Tranchemontagne said the voters consist of four Independents, two Democrats, and three Republicans. Since the town is so small, there is no method to discern how the Dixville voters will sway.
“A lot of different organizations are showing that Governor Romney has a large lead, but I have yet to see any surveys done in the town of Dixville,” Tranchemontagne said. “So there’s really no intelligent way for me to predict how the voters of Dixville are going to vote tonight.”