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Voters, candidates hitting the polls, making voices heard

  • New Hampshire Representative Jim MacKay gets ready to vote at Ward 4 Tuesday morning. The former Concord mayor is going for his ninth term in the NH House. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Nelson looks over the scene at Ward 4 in Concord Tuesday morning. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Muffins keep a sample ballot company at Webster Town Hall on Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. ELODIE REED—Monitor staff

  • Tim Reid, 26, walks up the steps of Webster Town Hall to vote Tuesday. ELODIE REED—Monitor staff

  • Former state senator Harold Janeway sports a "pro-cow" sticker in addition to campaign materials for Democratic candidates outside Webster Town Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. ELODIE REED—Monitor staff

  • Democratic gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern leaves with his family after voting at Ward 4 in Concord Tuesday morning.Democratic gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern leaves with his family after voting at Ward 4 in Concord Tuesday morning.

  • Democratic gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern after voting at Ward 4 in Concord Tuesday morning.Democratic gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern after voting at Ward 4 in Concord Tuesday morning.

  • Representative Annie Kuster votes at Hopkinton high school Tuesday morning.Representative Annie Kuster votes at Hopkinton high school Tuesday morning.

  • Representative Annie Kuster greets staffers after voting at Hopkinton high schoold Tuesday morning.Representative Annie Kuster greets staffers after voting at Hopkinton high schoold Tuesday morning.

  • U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster waves to a voter outside the Ward 7 polling place in Concord, which counted more than 1,000 votes by 10:30 a.m.U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster waves to a voter outside the Ward 7 polling place in Concord, which counted more than 1,000 votes by 10:30 a.m.

  • U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster poses for a photo outside the Ward 7 polling place on West Street in Concord.U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster poses for a photo outside the Ward 7 polling place on West Street in Concord.

  • Kara Culpon and 10 month old daughter, Kaitlyn, wait in line to hand their ballot to Webster moderator Bob Pearson Tuesday.Kara Culpon and 10 month old daughter, Kaitlyn, wait in line to hand their ballot to Webster moderator Bob Pearson Tuesday.

  • The bathrooms at Tucker’s in New London take into account all types on Election Day.  Ella Nilsen / Monitor staff

  • Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is handed a sticker before casting his ballot at PS-59, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

  • Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump votes, in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Richard Drew

  • Democratic poll observers Van Lanckton of Newton, Massachusetts, right and Peter Beeson from Concord look out at Ward 7 on West Street in Concord Tuesday.

  • Oscar the dachshund campaigns for Democratic candidates outside Salisbury's polling area Tuesday. Behind him are Rep. David Karrick, right, Oscar's owner Linda Barnes, and Joe Schmidl, left. ELODIE REED—Monitor staff

  • Velma Emery, 78, stands for a portrait with her car and Trump campaign materials on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Emery, a Salisbury resident, said she previously held signs for John Kerry but is supporting Trump this time around. ELODIE REED—Monitor staff

  • A car with pro-Trump signs sits close to Franklin City Hall, the Ward 2 polling station, Tuesday. ELODIE REED—Monitor staff

  • Sculptor Joe Kildune stands in a special outfit outside Toad Hall in Franklin. ELODIE REED / Monitor staff

  • Canterbury resident Doug Taylor leaves town hall after voting Tuesday. ELODIE REED / Monitor staff

  • Andrew Georgevits holds one of his campaign signs for state representative outside Concord's Ward 8 polling place on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Concord school board candidate Pamela Wicks holds a campaign sign outside Concord's Ward 8 polling place on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  •  Photo by Ella NilsenRepublican candidate for governor Chris Sununu greets voters at the polls in Bedford N.H.

  • Photo by Ella NilsenRepublican candidate for governor Chris Sununu greets voters at the polls in Bedford N.H.


Tuesday, November 08, 2016
5 p.m. Sununu predicts a 1-2 point race for governor

Today was the first time ever Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Sununu had to wait in line to cast his ballot at the Newfields Town Hall.

“I’ve never seen it like that,” Sununu said. “I’ve literally never had to wait more than one or two people in line, and it took me 10 to 15 minutes.”

Sununu, who is running against Democrat Colin Van Ostern, said the high turnout made him hopeful.

“People are coming out that typically might not have voted before, or maybe haven’t voted in a while, but they’re coming out,” he said. “They want some change...I think that gives us a lot of positivity, energy and optimism that tonight’s going to be a great night.”

Election officials around the Granite State reported higher than normal turnout as voters flocked to the polls.

At the Bedford High School, where Sununu was greeting voters, moderators said they hit a slump after noon, but expected it to pick back up again after people got out of work.

Sununu has been in a tight battle with Van Ostern throughout the election season. He said he expected the final night to be no different.

“I think it’s going to be a one or two point race,” Sununu said. “I have always believed that.”

Sununu will have his election night party at the Grappone Center in Concord tonight with fellow Republican, U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte. Van Ostern will hold his celebration at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester.

3 p.m. From Poland to the voting booth 

For Marta Meskey, a polish immigrant, this election has been an emotional one. 

"I do not will not ever support Donald Trump," said the Weare resident who immigrated to the U.S.  in 2002. "Hearing the way he talked about minorities was unbelievable."

The lines in Weare this morning stretched down the sidewalk, and 2,500 voters turned out by midday, according to state Rep. Neal Kurk. 

Most voters leaving the polls wanted to talk presidential politics, and the bitterness of the 2016 election was one full display. 

Stephen Antoniadis is a Trump fan, and worries about illegal immigration as his number one issue. 

"[Hillary] Clinton nothing more than a criminal and a traitor," he said. "You might as well turn White House into a trailer park."

Kera Barriere, 31, turned out Tuesday to vote in her first election. She picked Trump, and didn't vote in any other races. 

"I don't really like Hillary Clinton," she said. Barriere asked her eight-year-old daughter for input, and the girl recommended Trump after calling Clinton a liar. 

Barriere doesn't watch television news, and assumes her daughter heard information about the presidential candidates on the radio during the bus ride to school. "It's said," she said. 

-- Allie Morris

2 p.m. Ignore the ballot selfie signage

The legal fight over "ballot selfies" appears to have caught the state flat-footed as far as polling place signage goes.

Polling places receive material from the Secretary of State's office well in advance of election, that gets posted on the wall to inform voters of their rights and responsibilities. 

One of them, called "Prohibited Acts While Voting," lists a law, updated in 2014, that indirectly forbids taking a "ballot selfie" photo of your completed ballot and sharing it online. 

The problem is that on Sept. 27, a federal judge overturned this law, saying ballot selfies are protected free speech. Apparently the package of materials for polling places had already been prepared.

It's unlikely to make much difference, however, because the law is so obscurely worded - it talks about making marks on ballots to let people know how you voted - that few people are likely to associate it with taking cellphone pictures. 

 

1:15 p.m.: The polls broke!

State and election officials say a machine that stores and counts ballots temporarily stopped working at a polling place in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The U.S. attorney's office says concerned voters called to report that the machine stopped working Tuesday morning. New Hampshire uses paper ballots. Officials went on to collect them at the polling place, putting them in a box as they figured out how to fix the machine.

The machine was later up and running and accepting ballots. It wasn't immediately known how long it wasn't working.

-- Associated Press

1 p.m.: First time for everything

Among the voters at Dunbarton Elementary School on Tuesday was Connor Gagnon, 20, who recently ended a stint in the U.S. Air Force and was voting in his first presidential election.

Although he had never cast ballots in the school gym, he has plenty of connection to the room. 

"I was part of that banner," he said, pointing to a championship banner hanging on the wall, celebrating the 2013-14 basketball team's success. Gagnon was a forward on the team.

His stepfather, Peter Anderson, accompanied him, an echo of many past elections before when Gagnon wasn’t old enough to cast a ballot.

"I dragged him  into the voting booth every time," said Anderson. "Him and his brother. I wanted them to see."

12 p.m. Hillary Clinton poll monitors don’t want to be identified

Poll monitors are at voting locations keeping an eye out for voter fraud, including Chip Fagan is a Willis, Mass. resident who is watching voting in Bow. 

“Everything here is pretty well organized,” he said. “They’ve got backup systems for backup systems. They’re really well organized, from the traffic direction to the set up.”

Most poll monitors are from the state’s Democratic or Republican official parties, but observers working for the Hillary Clinton campaign have refused to give their names or speak to the press. The poll monitors in Bow were identified as Ronna Wise and Sara Crisp, according to Bow moderator Peter Isme.

According to Julie McClain, a spokesperson for Hillary for NH, their party’s resources are mostly focused on “get out the vote” efforts, such as canvassing and phone banking, to make sure people are informed about the voting process. She said she was not familiar with how poll monitors for the Clinton campaign were trained, and said it was “standard protocol” to have press inquires go to her.

 

10:30 a.m. Double parked in Webster

It’s undoubtedly weird to see cars double parked along a road in Webster.

Selectwoman Nanci Schofield said she hadn’t seen that since living in Massachusetts, but welcomed the enthusiastic turnout on Election Day.

With all the negative campaigning this season, she said she though people might get discouraged and not bother to vote. Instead, a steady stream of residents filed in and out of voting booths, most of them smiling.

“Everybody seems to be in a great mood,” Schofield said. “It could have gone either way. I’m glad to see it went where people are making their vote.”

At least 55 people already cast their ballot in the first half-hour Tuesday, which was “very high” according to town clerk Michele Derby. Ten new voters were registered in that time, too, and select board Chair Bruce Johnson said there was a line out the door just before voting began.

In between accepting ballots, moderator Bob Pearson suggested the morning turnout, though high, would undoubtedly slow down as the day went on.

“There will be nobody after lunch,” he said.

-- Elodie Reed

10 a.m. Busy voting in New London

Steve Wolf is not one to vote a straight ticket.

The New London Independent voter cast his ballot for Republican presidential candidate for Donald Trump and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, but he also voted for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern and state senate candidate John Garvey, another Democrat.

“I vote for a person and a policy, I don’t just do one ticket,” Wolf said.

Wolf said Hillary Clinton has too much baggage and is too politically connected for his taste.

“She owes too many people favors,” he said.

He favors the outsider candidacy of Trump precisely because he’s not a typical politician.

“I think he’s going to surround himself with good people,” Wolf said.

-- ELLA NILSEN

 

Which door?

9:45 a.m.

Voter turnout is strong at a number of New Hampshire's polls this Election Day.

Lines are well out into the parking lots at some places. In Dover, Foster's Daily Democrat reported more than 200 people in line just before 8:30 a.m. at one ward. Rather than force people to stand outside in the cold Tuesday, election officials let voters in and channeled them into a corridor in the building as they waited to vote.

Cars were crammed into other neighborhoods surrounding the polls.

7:45 a.m. Frosty morning

Lines are long on a frosty morning as voters crowd the polls in New Hampshire to cast their Election Day votes.

Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat challenging Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte for the U.S. Senate, cast her vote early Tuesday, as did Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Sununu. He's facing Democratic challenger Colin Van Ostern.In the 1st Congressional District, Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta is running for re-election against Democrat Carol Shea-Porter, who is hoping to win back her seat. Independent candidate Shawn O'Connor is also running.

In the 2nd Congressional District, Democratic congresswoman Annie Kuster faces Republican challenger Jim Lawrence.

Secretary of State Bill Gardner predicts a record turnout of 738,000 voters.

7:30 a.m.  Van Osten and family at the polls

Voting on Tuesday morning was a family affair for Colin Van Ostern.

Supporters cheered as the Democratic candidate for governor walked to his polling place in Concord’s Ward 4, with his wife Kristyn and his sons Peter and Patrick, and dog Moses.

Once inside the Concord Boys and Girls Club, the Van Osterns split up into pairs.

“Patch? You want to vote with Mama or Dada?” Van Ostern asked his 3-year-old son Patrick.

“I want to vote with you!” the boy replied, jumping up and down.

Though there were lines in the Concord polling place at 7:30, they were moving quickly. 

Many of New Hampshire’s races are expected to be close, including Van Ostern’s contest with Republican Chris Sununu, as well as the U.S. Senate race between Republican incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Democratic challenger Maggie Hassan.

“Did you vote for you?” Van Ostern’s 6-year-old son Peter asked as they exited the Boys and Girls Club.

“I did, but I really voted for him, and all of our kids,” Van Ostern later said to reporters.

12:15 a.m. Dixville has first say

Donald Trump got off to a quick, early lead in the 2016 presidential election, winning over the voters of three New Hampshire precincts by a 32-25 margin over Hillary Clinton.

Polls in the tiny New Hampshire towns of Dixville, 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.