On February 9, 2016, in the
presidential primaries, voters expressed their preferences for the
Republican parties' respective nominees for president. Registered members of each party only voted in their party's primary, while voters who were unaffiliated chose any one primary in which to vote.
As per tradition and by New Hampshire electoral laws, New Hampshire holds the primaries before any other state holds them. (excluding Iowa) As a result, candidates for nomination usually spend a long period campaigning in New Hampshire.
In the New Hampshire Democratic primary taking place on February 9, 2016, there were 24
pledged delegates and 8
super delegates that went to the
Democratic National Convention. The pledged electors were allocated in this way. 16 delegates were allocated proportionally by congressional district (8 delegates per district). The other 8 delegates were allocated based on the statewide popular vote.
The New Hampshire Republican primary took place on February 9, 2016, where there were 23 bound delegates which were allocated proportionally and a candidate has to get at least 10% of the vote to get any delegates to the
Republican National Convention.
Hillary Clinton's margin of victory was the smallest for a Democrat in the state since
Woodrow Wilson narrowly won it in
1916. New Hampshire last voted for a Republican,
George W. Bush, in
2000, and although Trump did not win New Hampshire, the top-line county results were exactly the same in 2000 and 2016. Despite Trump's narrow loss, this would be the first presidential election since 2000 where New Hampshire would vote more Republican than the national average, along with the first time since 1976 when the winner of Coos County did not also carry the state as well.
Allegations of voting irregularities
On September 7, 2017, state House speaker
Shawn Jasper announced that data showed that 6,540 people voted using out-of-state licenses. Of those, only 15% had received state licenses by August 2017. Of the remaining 5,526, only 3.3% had registered a motor vehicle in New Hampshire. In addition to the close vote for president, Democratic Governor
Maggie Hassan defeated incumbent Republican Senator
Kelly Ayotte by 1,017 votes. In February 2017, President Trump had told a gathering of senators at the White House that fraudulent out-of-state voting had cost him and Ayotte the election in New Hampshire. Mainstream media disputed Trump's and Japser's assertion. New Hampshire law permits New Hampshire residents to vote using out-of-state identification if they are domiciled in the state, out-of-state college students attending schools in New Hampshire being one example of such legitimate use of out-of-state identification.
Several investigations by New Hampshire's Ballot Law Commission found no evidence of widespread fraud, and only 4 instances of fraud total in the state for the 2016 elections. Specifically addressing the claim of people being bussed in from out of state to vote, Associate Attorney General Anne Edwards noted that they found no evidence for such claims. When they investigated these claims, they found that the buses were chartered out of state, but the voters on the buses lived in New Hampshire and could legally vote there.