US town announces country's first election results

Josh Dutton
·News Reporter
·2-min read

The first results of the US Presidential election are in and Joe Biden has won - at least in the town of Dixville Notch, in the US state of New Hampshire.

The town’s five voters went to the polls on Tuesday just after midnight (local time).

Dixville Notch has been in the spotlight for nearly 60 years for casting votes just after midnight in the first presidential primary and in November general elections.

Tom Tillotson drops voters ballots into the ballot box at the Hale House at the historic Balsams Resort during midnight voting as part of the first ballots cast in the United States Presidential Election in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.
Tom Tillotson casts his vote in Dixville Notch for the 2020 US Presidential election. Source: Getty Images

However, last year the attorney general’s office said the community was missing an official who is needed to hold an election.The person who held that position had moved away.

That left Dixville Notch with just four residents — Tom Tillotson, his wife, his son and another person.

If the community couldn’t find a fifth person in time to fill a selectman vacancy for the February primary, it would have needed to contact the secretary of state’s office for assistance in joining nearby municipalities in order to vote.

The Hale House at the Balsams resort where midnight voting will take place as part of the first ballots cast in the US Presidential Election, in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.
The Hale House at the Balsams resort where the voting took place in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Source: Getty Images

Resident number five is Les Otten, developer of the Balsams resort, where the voting tradition began. He moved to the town earlier this year.

“Having the New Hampshire primary without Dixville voting first is like having winter in New Hampshire without snow,” Mr Otten said.

“At the moment, the importance of the tradition of voting in Dixville seemed as though it was something that needed to be paid attention to.

“It was something that was crying out for somebody to step forward and say I’ll be the fifth guy.”

Mr Otten, who normally votes Republican, said he voted for Biden.

“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,” he said.

“It’s time to rebuild the heart of what makes us a great country.”

Dixville Notch drew notice after Mr Tillotson’s father, Neil Tillotson, bought the Balsams resort and arranged for early voting at the hotel beginning in November 1960. Neil Tillotson, who ran a rubber factory and is credited with inventing the latex balloon, died in 2001 at the age of 102.

The elections have drawn much fanfare through the years. Voting is traditionally held in a wood-panelled room at the resort where political memorabilia was on display, but the resort closed in September 2011.

All five residents voted for Biden.

with The Associated Press

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