Obama, Romney in dead heat in Dixville Notch; Hart's Location goes to Obama

New Hampshire First Returns

In this still frame made from video, voters drop their ballots in the ballot box after casting their votes in Dixville Notch, N.H., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, as they cast the first Election Day votes in the nation. After 43 seconds of voting, President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney each had 5 votes in Dixville Notch. (AP Photo/APTN)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire, home to the first-in-the-nation presidential primary, also got an early start on general election voting Tuesday — with President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney in a tie in one community and Obama picking up a win in the other.

The polls opened and closed within 43 seconds in Dixville Notch, where Obama and Romney each received 5 votes. In Hart's Location, Obama won with 23 votes, Romney received 9 and Libertarian Gary Johnson received 1 vote. Voting there took 5 minutes, 42 seconds.

Elsewhere, the earliest voters can go to the polls is 6 a.m., with the last polls closing at 8 p.m.

Secretary of State William Gardner is predicting 722,000 people, or 70 percent of New Hampshire's voting age population, will cast ballots in the tightly contested race to decide whether President Barack Obama or Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will get New Hampshire's four electoral college votes.

Voters also will pick a new governor, decide close races for two congressional seats and cast ballots for 400 state House seats and 24 state Senate seats.

In the presidential race, both sides point to 2000, when Democrat Al Gore lost New Hampshire by 7,000 popular votes to Republican George W. Bush. Had Gore prevailed in New Hampshire, he would have had the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election, and the famously disputed Florida vote would not have determined the race.

"This year, perhaps more than ever before, the eyes of the world and the nation are on New Hampshire, and once again, our four electoral votes could determine the outcome of the presidential election," retiring Democratic Gov. John Lynch said Sunday, introducing Obama and former President Bill Clinton at a rally in Concord.

The outdoor Obama event was bookended by Republican Mitt Romney, who had a rally in Portsmouth on Saturday and returned Monday night for an appearance with singer Kid Rock in Manchester.

A WMUR-TV Granite State Poll released Sunday night showed Obama slightly ahead of Romney in New Hampshire. In the gubernatorial race — where Lynch's retirement is leaving an open seat for the first time in a decade — the poll showed Democrat Maggie Hassan leading Republican Ovide Lamontagne, with 12 percent undecided.

Democrat Ann McLane Kuster had a slight lead over Republican Rep. Charles Bass in the 2nd Congressional District in northern and Western New Hampshire, while Republican Rep. Frank Guinta and Democrat Carol Shea-Porter were tied in the 1st District in southeastern New Hampshire. Both races are rematches of 2010.

Both parties predict Democratic gains in the Statehouse. The number in the House is 288 Republican to 102 Democrats with 10 vacancies. There are 18 Republicans and five Democrats in the Senate, with one vacancy.

More than 808,000 people are registered, and voters also can register at the polls. Assistant Secretary of State Karen Ladd says voters should be prepared for long lines. For the first time, voters must show photo identification or sign an affidavit to vote, and the ballot is lengthy, with two proposed constitutional amendments.

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God bless America!

Time to rehire or fire a President in the richest and most powerful Nation on Earth ... This is why I served this country. This is why I believe we all do.

Best wishes to all the candidates, especially those who have offered for President of the United States.

Now, let's vote and bring one person along with us who may not have transportation to the polls.

Republican for Obama


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