By AILA SLISCO
President Donald Trump held a total lead of 6 votes over Democratic nominee Joe Biden after the first votes of 2020 presidential election were reported in two small New Hampshire villages early on Tuesday morning.
Trump won a midnight vote in the village of Millsfield by a 16-5 margin, while Biden had a 5-0 victory in nearby Dixville Notch. Trump’s Millsfield win echoed the 16 votes he received in the village in 2016, with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton receiving four votes and Sen. Bernie Sanders getting a single vote. Clinton won the 2016 Dixville Notch vote, getting four votes to Trump’s two. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and former GOP nominee Sen. Mitt Romney each had one vote.
While most experts believe overall voter turnout in the current election will be high, the five votes cast in Dixville Notch represents the lowest turnout ever reported. The last candidate to win all of the votes cast in the village was former President Richard Nixon, who went on to narrowly lose to former President John F. Kennedy in the election of 1960.
The Dixville Notch vote has a mixed record—at best—of predicting the ultimate winner of the presidency. In addition to missing Trump’s 2016 win, results did not match former President Jimmy Carter’s win in 1976, Nixon’s 1968 win or either of former President Bill Clinton‘s 1990s victories.
Trump also received 16 votes in this year’s primary in Millsfield, but neither Trump nor Biden received a single vote during 2020 primary voting in Dixville Notch, where former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg won both the Democratic and Republican primaries by a write-in vote.
“I’m a lifelong Republican voting for Joe Biden for president,” Dixville Notch voter Les Otten said in a video posted to Twitter hours before the vote. “My vote today is meant to send a message to my fellow Republicans that our party can find its way back… Paradoxically, the Joe Biden presidency will allow us to refocus on core Republican values and we can become the conservative party that can lead America to prosperity and greatness again.”
Millsfield and Dixville Notch were two out of three in places in New Hampshire that had been expected to cast ballots and report results just after midnight.
Officials in Hart’s Location, which had also planned to hold a midnight vote, cancelled the tradition last week over concerns caused by COVID-19, according to WMUR. All 48 voters will be given the opportunity to cast their ballots during normal daytime hours instead.