By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — How the city votes in today's New Hampshire Presidential Primary should be known within an hour of the polls closing at 7 p.m.
In commemorating the 100th running of the "First in the Nation" primary, Bill Gardner, the New Hampshire Secretary of State, has asked 13 "bellwether" municipalities, those where voters have chosen the winners of every Democratic and Republican primary since 1952, to report early results.
The Democratic candidate who carried Laconia, together with five towns — Epping, Hudson, Kingston, Merrimack and Rollinsford — has won every Democratic primary since 1952. At the same time, the winner of every Republican primary has has topped the ballot in the city of Rochester and six towns - East Kingston, Lancaster, Newmarket, Pembroke, Sanbornton and Washington.
Gardner acknowledged that reporting early will require an extra effort and in an email advised 13 city and town clerks "this is not a requirement, only a request ... so don't feel as though you are obligated to do it."
City Clerk Mary Reynolds did not hesitate. She said yesterday that she has asked election officials in each of the six wards in the city to send results to City Hall as soon after the polls close as possible and expects to have them by 7:30 p.m. The results will be reported as "preliminary results."
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