New Hampshire Voting

How Do New Hampshire Primaries Work? [FAQ]

How do New Hampshire primaries work? While the NH primaries are a lot more straightforward than the Iowa caucus, there are still quite a few irregularities from other primaries. The voting in NH today will impact the overall national outcome more than any other primary, simply because it is first.

First Primary
How do New Hampshire primaries work compared to other states? The most notable difference between the New Hampshire primary and other states is the date. While most states are just registering new voters in February and primaries will not be held until March, the NH primary is held in early February as the first primary of the year. They are preceded only by the Iowa caucus, which is not technically a primary.

How Do New Hampshire Primaries Work To Let Some People Vote At 12:01 a.m. Tuesday?
Communities with less than 100 registered voters may open the polls just after midnight for an early count. That means the first voters in New Hampshire are the smallest communities. Those have already reported their results before the rest of the voters awakened that morning. Most polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 9.

How Many People Will Vote?
Bill Gardener, the Secretary of State for New Hampshire predicts a turn out of about 60 percent according to CBS News. That would be 268,000 Democrats and 282,000 Republicans. That is more Republicans and fewer Democrats than their last primary. This is because undeclared or independent voters in New Hampshire can choose which party’s primary they vote in. Therefore, the number of voters in each party can vary considerably. While this makes the New Hampshire Primaries hard to predict, it certainly doesn’t stop people from trying to make predictions.

How Many Delegates Does New Hampshire Have?
There are 32 Democrat New Hampshire delegates. Eight of those are super delegates and are not bound by primary results. All other delegates, both Democrat and Republican, are committed to the candidates assigned by the primary results. The Republicans have 23 delegates, according to Fox News.

A voter leaves a polling site at dawn after casting a ballot in the New Hampshire primary (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A voter leaves a polling site at dawn after casting a ballot in the New Hampshire primary [Photo by David Goldman/AP]

Why Is The New Hampshire Primary So Important?
How do New Hampshire primaries work to predict other primaries? This primary is considered to be predictive of other elections. It is considered that winning the NH primary increases the chance of winning the overall nationwide primary vote by 27 percent. Losing the New Hampshire primary can be very demoralizing for candidates and campaigns, because of the amount of time between the NH Primaries and the rest of the primaries. It is far more stressful than losing any other single primary because so much time passes between NH and the other primaries.

Who Is Predicted To Win?
It is widely predicted that Bernie Sanders will have a landslide in the Democrat NH primaries. Early polls are showing he has a double-digit lead over Hillary. However, it is predicted that Hillary has an advantage in collecting the endorsement of the eight superdelegates. Trump is the favorite for Republicans with a double-digit lead over the rest of the Republican field.

New Hampshire Campaigning
Campaigning in New Hampshire is more extensive than in most other states. [Photo by Jacquelyn Martin/AP]

How Do New Hampshire Primaries Work To Gear The Country Up For Other Primaries?
The publicity of the NH primaries informs voters in other states about the candidates. It also reminds them to register to vote. It encourages them to start getting involved in the election process by educating themselves about the candidates and making absentee ballot arrangements. Overall, it is a reminder that other states will have primaries in the next month.

Do the New Hampshire primaries work to encourage you to vote in your own state’s primaries?

[Photo by Jim Cole/AP]