First US presidential votes cast in 3 New Hampshire towns

Press TV- Three tiny towns in the US state of New Hampshire have cast the first votes in a traditional midnight voting on Election Day.

Dixville Notch, Hart’s Location, and Millsfield were allowed to begin the process under New Hampshire law, which states communities with fewer than 100 voters can open the polling stations at midnight and close them when all registered voters cast their vote.

According to USA Today, voters in the small communities favored Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, putting him ahead of his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, 32-25.

The tradition of midnight voting began in Hart’s Location in 1948, but Dixville Notch is the best-known of the trio, having voted at midnight every presidential election since 1960.

A clerk tabulates ballots at a polling station just after midnight in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, November 8, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Voters in other parts of New Hampshire should wait till the voting officially begins at 7 a.m. local time (1100 GMT).

All 50 states and Washington DC will open polling booths on Tuesday across six time zones. Timings vary for each state. While most states have 12 hours to wrap up voting, some would continue until 9 pm local time.

Of the nearly 230 million Americans eligible to vote, more than 120 million are expected to partake in the poll.

Voting experts and officials are concerned about unusually high levels of chaos and voter intimidation at polling stations.

Trump has frequently cast doubt on the legitimacy of the process by claiming that the vote has been “rigged” in favor of Clinton. The outspoken candidate has called on his supporters to stake out polling stations and watch for fraud.

State officials in Philadelphia and Arizona have issued warnings, urging voters to report intimidating behavior around polling places.

“Individuals who conspire to interfere with a person’s right to vote can face up to 10 years in prison,” read a notice issued by Pennsylvania’s secretary of state.

As of Sunday morning, more than 41 million Americans had voted in 37 states and the District of Columbia, where some forms of early voting were offered, according to The Washington Post.