(Mitch Wertlieb) An old voting tradition was upheld early this morning with perhaps the beginnings of a new tradition ushered in, as the voters of Dixville Notch became the first in the nation to vote in the nation’s first primary. Residents of the small New Hampshire town meet at midnight on primary day every four years. From 1960 to the year 2000, Dixville Notch resident Neil Tilloston had cast the very first ballot. But Mr. Tilloston passed away in 2001, and that honor went to another resident this year his son Tom acted as moderator at a pre-vote meeting that was held to determine who would vote first. A hat was passed around and a name was drawn at random, and Dixville Notch resident Richard Irwin was chosen to cast the first vote.
For more about the kick off of the presidential primary season of 2004 we’re joined on the line by Art McGrath, a reporter for the Caledonian Record, who was in Dixville Notch as the voting began.
(To hear the interview, click on the “Listen” icon.)