CNB News – Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday won all five votes in the presidential election in Dixville Notch, a tiny New Hampshire town near the U.S.-Canadian border known for being one of the first places in which residents cast their ballots.
Eligible voters gathered in the “Ballot Room” at The Balsams resort shortly after midnight, CNN reported. The results were tallied and announced hours before anywhere else.
The minuscule township only had 12 residents as of the 2010 census.
A lifelong Republican named Les Otten cast the first vote in Dixville Notch and explained his decision to back the Democrat in a now-viral video, that quickly raked in more than 1.1 million views.
— Dixville Vote (@DixvilleVote) November 2, 2020
“I don’t agree with him on a lot of issues but I believe it’s time to find what unites us — not what divides us,” Otten said. “It’s time to rebuild the heart of what makes us a great country. That starts with electing leaders of character who are truthful and who will put the country’s welfare above all else and who will show respect for all people regardless of their gender, their race, their religion or their political beliefs.”
Tom Tillotson, town moderator in Dixville Notch, told The Associated Press that it was harder to accommodate the traditional media presence and food spread for the crowd of election observers due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The event in Dixville Notch started in November 1960 and surpassed a historic milestone in 2020.
“Sixty years — and unfortunately, we can’t celebrate it,” he said.
The early morning voting also occurs during the primary elections. In February, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pulled out a win in Dixville Notch during the Democratic primaries.
Other New Hampshire towns also participate in the traditional early voting. President Trump won 16 votes to Biden’s five on Tuesday morning in nearby Millsfield.
A third New Hampshire community, Hart’s Location, suspended the midnight voting tradition this election because of coronavirus-related concerns. Voters will instead need to cast their ballots during daylight between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
The midnight elections make national news every cycle, but the outcomes aren’t predictive of the eventual winner in New Hampshire or the nation CNN noted. Dixville Notch in 2016 voted for then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.