The Slatest

Biden Sweeps First Vote in Dixville Notch

An election worker writes the Dixville Notch vote tally in colored pen on a dry erase board.
Ahh, democracy at work. Joseph Prezioso/Getty Images

If you’re looking for early (positive) omens this Election Day, you need not look further than Dixville Notch. The northern New Hampshire enclave traditionally votes first on Election Day, casting ballots in the first moments after the stroke of midnight. The small town’s handful of ballots are quickly counted and serve as the country’s first exit poll. The midnight vote is also often seen as a harbinger of how the country as a whole will tilt in the hours to come—even though the good people of Dixville Notch don’t exactly have their finger on the pulse of the nation. The town’s pick for president has only gone on to win the election half the time. This year, all five voters in the town with a population of a dozen or so cast ballots for Joe Biden. The sweep was the first since 1960. That year, the first midnight vote, Richard Nixon won all nine votes, winning Dixville Notch in his race against John F. Kennedy.

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In other not so positive omen news, another midnight-voting New Hampshire town, Millsfield, went for Trump 16 votes to 5. Both of the early-voting New Hampshire towns stayed true to their 2016 form: Millsfield went for Trump last election, while Hillary Clinton won Dixville Notch. So what does it all mean? Who knows! The only real takeaway here is: choose your omens carefully.

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