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Voting in US Presidential Election Ends in Several States

  • VOA News

Election workers set up voting booths at Memorial Elementary School in Little Ferry, New Jersey, Nov. 6, 2012.

Election workers set up voting booths at Memorial Elementary School in Little Ferry, New Jersey, Nov. 6, 2012.

Voting has closed in nearly all U.S. states in the closely contested election pitting President Barack Obama against Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

The first projected results have Obama, a Democrat, winning 148 electoral votes and Romney with 174 Electoral College votes.

The projections say Obama won in the battleground states of New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. Romney won in 19 states, including Indiana, which went for Obama last election. The battleground states of Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia are too close to call.

The candidates made a final push for support Tuesday as voters waited in long lines at polling places. Some sporadic problems were reported, and both candidates dispatched lawyers to monitor the voting for any irregularities.

Polls remained open to allow people still in line at closing time to cast ballots.

The Justice Department has nearly 800 observers in 23 states to respond to any allegations of fraud.

Related story by Chris Simkins:

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After a year-and-a-half of campaigning, three debates and thousands of televised campaign ads, nationwide pre-election surveys showed the two candidates in a virtual deadlock.

But the surveys also show Obama with a slight edge in a handful of key battleground states that are likely to determine the outcome.

U.S. presidential elections are not decided by the national popular vote, but rather by the Electoral College system, developed more than 200 years ago, in which each of the 50 states' influence on the outcome is roughly equivalent to its population.

A candidate needs at least 270 of the available 538 electoral votes to win the election.

Voters also are electing all 435 members of the House of Representatives, and 33 of the 100 members of the Senate. Republicans are projected to continue to hold their majority in the House, while the president's Democratic Party is expected to maintain its slim majority in the Senate.

Millions of Americans already have cast ballots in early voting, in the last month.

Obama voted a few days ago in his home city of Chicago, and spent Tuesday there. He conducted interviews for broadcast in key states and played basketball with friends, one of his Election Day traditions. He also called voters from a campaign office.

Romney, a one-time venture capitalist, voted Tuesday morning in Massachusetts, the northeastern state he once governed but where Obama won. He also made a final push for votes in the key states of Ohio and Pennsylvania.

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