DIXVILLE NOTCH, USA, Nov 8, 2016 (AFP) – The US presidential election got underway — on a small scale — as seven people in a tiny New Hampshire village cast their ballots at the stroke of midnight.
Dixville Notch has had the honor of launching the voting, symbolically, since 1960.
A man named Clay Smith was the first of the seven residents — five men and two women — to cast ballots as Tuesday’s long-awaited Election Day began. An eighth person voted by absentee ballot.
The tally was announced in a matter of minutes: four votes for Democrat Hillary Clinton and two for Donald Trump.
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 voted for 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 told AFP.
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."
Two other hamlets in New Hampshire, which is on the Canadian border, also voted at midnight.
Voting begins in earnest at 6.00 a.m. (1100 GMT) in several states along the East Coast.