The awkward first election day vote in the US presidential race has not gone down well

By Benedict Brook of news.com.au

It all started so well in Dixville Notch, where a smiling voter waited to cast his ballot, the first on election day. Photo / CNN
It all started so well in Dixville Notch, where a smiling voter waited to cast his ballot, the first on election day. Photo / CNN

And they're off! Kind of.

Voting has begun in the 2016 US Presidential election and it's not been the smoothest of starts.

Due to an anomaly in the voting rules in New Hampshire, towns with a population of fewer than 100 can begin voting at midnight, rather than waiting until the morning.

Tradition dictates that Dixville Notch is the first to exercise their democratic right.

So seven of the good people of the town, close to the Canadian border, patiently lined up to vote.

It didn't exactly go to plan.

Live on TV across the world, they flubbed it.

Wait, why hasn't the voting slip gone in? We're on global TV. Photo / CNN
Wait, why hasn't the voting slip gone in? We're on global TV. Photo / CNN

The voter and returning officer both held the voting slip tight, a few centimetres above the ballot box, as the seconds slipped by to midnight. There were two hands to ensure it didn't fall in to the box early.

But when the clock ticked over to Tuesday, the simple task of releasing the slip fell in a heap.

Despite the ballot box being directly below them, and having more than a minute to survey the right trajectory to get the paper in the slot, they failed.

They failed miserably.

The paper refused to go in, then just fell on top of the ballot box as onlookers groaned.

"They had one job," laughed the CNN presenter. "One job".

Eventually, as panic mounted, the returning officer took matters into his own hand, ripped the slip from the voter, and shoved it in himself.

If you want to get a job done right, it seems, do it yourself.

Despite the debacle, Hillary Clinton will be pleased with the result. According to the votes cast in this one town in this swing state, four voted for her with just two for rival Donald Trump.

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson won one vote, and there was a write-in vote for Mitt Romney, the losing Republican presidential candidate in 2012. Now that the eight residents have voted the booth has closed.

The main polling booths open in the American's north east at 6am.

- news.com.au

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