MANCHESTER, NH (CBS) – Voters in New Hampshire will be heading to the polls for the first-in-the-nation primary in less than a month. “It’s always kind of exciting you always have a chance to meet lots of candidates,” said Bill Maddocks of Amherst, NH.

“I think it’s pretty cool you kind of get like the first say,” said Brittany Coolidge of Dover, NH.

The Granite State has kept its primary status as first-in-the-nation since 1920.

Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan said New Hampshire is able to maintain being first by being flexible when setting the election date. “We can pull an election off in short order. It’s a fine tuned machine in terms of printing ballots and getting them distributed,” Scanlan said.

After 100 years does the New Hampshire primary still hold the same weight?

“I think it does and I think the fact that the candidates are here and campaigning so much shows that the New Hampshire primary is alive and well,” said Neil Levesque, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.

Levesque said a lot has changed since the last primary in terms of social media and how campaigns reach voters through their cell phones. He stresses New Hampshire’s retail politics is still thriving.

“You have got to earn it here in New Hampshire and that’s what separates us from other states and we think we do a great job of really vetting the candidates,” said Levesque.

Levesque said once the Iowa caucuses are complete it’ll be all eyes on New Hampshire until the February 11th primary.

Mike LaCrosse

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