First in the United States Presidential Primary Voting

History in the Making in Northern New Hampshire

The historic Ballot Room at the Balsams Resort
The historic Ballot Room at the Balsams Resort

New Hampshire may be small in size, but every four years it plays a huge and important role in the U. S. Presidential Primary Elections as the first-in-the-nation votes are cast and tallied in the far northern reaches of the state. An event of this magnitude draws media attention from around the world — from as close as Boston and New York to as far away as Tokyo and London.

At midnight on February 9, 2016, the handful of registered voters in the tiny town of Dixville will gather to cast their ballots — the first votes in the nation. And this year, too, to ensure that the northern New Hampshire first-vote tradition continues, voters in the neighboring town of Millsfield will also cast their votes at midnight.

Historically, Dixville’s voting has taken place in the famed Ballot Room in the Dix House at The Balsams Resort, located in beautiful Dixville Notch within Coös County. The resort, which recently closed its doors (and has plans to reopen in the near future), has confirmed that the tradition will continue, but since the resort is undergoing major renovations the vote will take place at the Hale House next door.

Log Haven Restaurant and Lounge
Log Haven Restaurant and Lounge

Although only roughly 20 residents call Millsfield home, voters there will gather at the Log Haven Restaurant and Lounge, which will serve as the host for this historic event. The building, constructed in 1989 amidst the region’s tall timbers, features beautiful, authentic wooden beams that reflect the rugged personality of the area and her citizens. Those looking to visit the soon-to-be historic location can access it by car via Route 26, or by snowmobile or the Ride the Wilds ATV trails (weather permitting), which lead right to the door.

Anyone who is planning to visit the region and wants to learn more about lodging, dining and recreation in New Hampshire’s Grand North can visit NHgrand.com. The website showcases everything that makes northern New Hampshire so special, including activities like skiing, snowmobiling, white water rafting, hiking the White Mountains, and world-class ATV’ing; family attractions like Santa’s Village; and historic attractions such as the Mt. Washington Auto Road, Cog Railway, Omni Mt. Washington Hotel, and the Mountain View Grand Hotel — and so much more!

The stories below will give you a closer look at the region, the residents and the towns of Dixville and Millsfield, and a taste of what to expect at midnight on Presidential Primary Voting Day in New Hampshire’s Grand North:

Wall Street Journal – Tiny Millsfield, N.H., Becomes a Big Deal in 2016 U.S. Presidential Primary

Washington Post – The biggest little fight: Two New Hampshire ‘towns’ battle for the midnight vote