Nov 8, 2016 8:58 AM
Polls are open in New Hampshire, where there's a lot at stake on the ballot
NH1 News Political Director
NEWFIELDS – After a nearly two yearlong campaign, it’s finally Election Day.
In New Hampshire, the state’s four very crucial electoral votes could determine whether Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton or GOP nominee Donald Trump wins the White House.
The state’s also home to one of the most high profile, expensive, and negative U.S. Senate races in the country. And the outcome of the showdown between Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Democratic challenger Gov. Maggie Hassan could very well decide whether the Republicans keep control of the chamber, or if the Democrats take back the Senate majority they lost two years ago.
Hassan, accompanied by her family, voted just before 8am at the town hall in Newfields. She was greeted by a large group of Democratic supporters standing outside the town hall in the small Seacoast community.
A few minutes earlier GOP gubernatorial nominee Chris Sununu, a longtime Newfields resident, cast his ballot. Sununu was accompanied by his wife. His young children were outside, standing with friends and family and a large throng of Sununu supporters who were all holding campaign signs.
Sununu is facing off against fellow executive councilor and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Colin Van Ostern in the race to succeed Hassan in the Corner Office.
In the state’s 1st Congressional District, incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta is fighting for re-election against a familiar opponent, Democratic challenger and former U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter. This is the fourth straight election in which the two are facing off. Also on the ballot this time around, independent candidate Shawn O’Connor, who earlier this year was bidding for the Democratic nomination in the 1st CD.
In the 2nd CD, two-term Democratic congresswoman Annie Kuster is being challenged by former state Rep. Jim Lawrence.
Also up for grabs on Election Day, control of the Executive Council, the state Senate and the State House.
The first votes
Trump is off to a very early lead, winning over the voters of three New Hampshire precincts by a 32-25 margin over Clinton.
Polls in the tiny North Country of Dixville Notch, Hart's Location and Millsfield opened just after midnight Tuesday and closed as soon as everyone had voted. These die-hard voters are proud to have the first word on the big vote.
Clinton won more votes in Dixville and Hart's Location, but Trump was the overwhelming favorite in Millsfield, with a 16-4 edge.
Libertarian Gary Johnson picked up three votes. Bernie Sanders, John Kasich and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney got write-in votes.
Under New Hampshire state law, communities with fewer than 100 voters can get permission to open their polls at midnight and close them as soon as all registered voters have cast their ballots.
Gov. Maggie Hassan shakes hands with Newfields town clerk Sue McKinnon after voting on Election Day 2016
Executive Councilor and GOP gubernatorial nominee Chris Sununu casts his ballot at the Newfields town hall on Election Day 2016