Huffpost Politics

Balsams Grand Resort Hotel Closed For Election For First Time In More Than 50 Years

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The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel, originally opened as the Dix House just after the Civil War but bought and renamed by inventor and industrialist Henry S. Hale in 1895, is shown March 24, 2006 in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire. In 1918, Hale added a new wing seen to the right, doubling the capacity of the resort to its current 400 guests. The resort is located on a 15,000 acres, with golfing in the summer and skiing in the winter. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) | Getty Images

DIXVILLE NOTCH, N.H. — For more than 50 years, voters in a township tucked close to the Canadian border have cast some of the nation's first ballots for president at the historic Balsams Grand Resort Hotel.

But not this year.

Although the hotel will be closed for the Nov. 6 election, Dixville's 10 registered voters will continue the midnight tradition at a local ski lodge.

The Victorian- and Alpine-style resort, in the village of Dixville Notch, is known for its wood-paneled Ballot Room, where residents have cast their votes for president at the stroke of midnight on New Hampshire's primary day and on the nation's Election Day since 1960. The room is filled with political articles and cartoons from presidential campaigns and a special glass-encased ballot box.

Dixville shares midnight voting with Hart's Location, which began the early-bird tradition in 1948. Most residents of the White Mountain village then were railroad workers who had to be on the job during normal polling hours. By 1964 the townspeople had grown weary of the media attention and the late hours and did away with the practice. They revived it in 1996.

Former Balsams owner Neil Tillotson, eager to steal the spotlight from Hart's Location, arranged for the early elections by having Dixville incorporated in 1960 solely for voting.

The nearly 150-year-old resort was officially closed in September 2011. Two local businessmen who bought it for $2.3 million hope to re-open it next year.

The hotel this year was re-opened just for one night – the state's first-in-the-nation presidential primary on Jan. 10.

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