According to the 2010 census, the tiny township of Dixville Notch claimed 12 residents. Of course, one could easily just count heads for a more up-to-date population, as the New Hampshire town is one of the smallest in the country.
Celebrating their micro status, eligible voters in Dixville Notch—this year there were a whopping five—convened just after midnight at the start of Election Day. By tradition, voters gather in the Ballot Room at Balsams Resort to cast their secret ballots in the early minutes of Election Day. After voting, tabulation promptly begins, and results are announced, hours before any other municipality reveals its Election Day results.
And this year the result in Dixville Notch was unanimous: All five Notchers selected Joe Biden for President.
Bellwether or Publicity Stunt?
The first district in the country to announce election results doesn’t necessarily predict the election’s ultimate winner, of course. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the Dixville Notch election, though not by unanimous consent. Back then, the small town on the US-Canada border had eight participating voters. Four of them chose Clinton, two voted for Trump, one supported Libertarian Gary Johnson, and one wrote-in Mitt Romney’s name. And while Clinton would ultimately win New Hampshire’s 4 electoral votes, it was by the narrowest of margins. She only bested Trump by 0.3%.
But the unanimous selection of Biden could foreshadow larger results across the country. Biden’s campaign has worked tirelessly to attract eligible voters who did not participate in the 2016 election, as well as disaffected Republicans and independents. If Dixville Notch is any indication, those white, rural voters who turned away from the Democratic Party in 2016 might be more willing to support Biden than they were to support Hillary Clinton. Case in point, the vast diversity of Dixville Notch votes from just four years ago have since coalesced on a single candidate.
Still, the unanimous vote in the Upper Northeast is unlikely to sway the entire nation. But for the residents of Dixville Notch, who have taken part in the midnight election every cycle since 1960, it is a good opportunity to get some press coverage of their tiny hamlet.