Tight US Election Now in Voters' Hands

Voters at their voting machines at the Utah State Capitol Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Salt Lake City.
Voters at their voting machines at the Utah State Capitol Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Salt Lake City.
VOA News
American voters are deciding whether to re-elect President Barack Obama or pick a new leader for the next four years, Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

The candidates made a final push for votes Tuesday in what opinion polls say is a tight race.

Voters waited in long lines at polling places throughout the country, with some sporadic problems reported.  Both candidates have dispatched lawyers to monitor the voting for any irregularities.  The Justice Department has nearly 800 observers at polling places in 23 states to respond to any allegations of fraud.   

After a year-and-a-half of campaigning, three debates and thousands of televised campaign ads, nationwide pre-election surveys show 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 a two-century-old Electoral College system in which each of the 50 states' influence on the outcome is roughly equivalent to its population.  

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

Congressional seats

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

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

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

  • Bob Auletta makes his way into a polling place at Toms River East High School to vote on Election Day in Toms River, New Jersey, November 6, 2012.
  • Friends and campaign workers line the highway across from the voting headquarters in Bronson, Florida, November 6, 2012.
  • Fire house in Bradley Beach, New Jersey, becomes the only voting facility for residents who usually have four during general elections , all due to Superstorm Sandy, November 6, 2012. (Celia Mendoza/VOA)
  • President Barack Obama calls Wisconsin volunteers as he visits a campaign office call center the morning of the 2012 election in Chicago, November 6, 2012.
  • Poll workers Eva Prenga, right, Roxanne Blancero, center, and Carole Sevchuk try to start an optical scanner voting machine in the cold and dark at a polling station in a tent in the Midland Beach section of Staten Island, New York, November 6, 2012. The original polling site, a school, was damaged by Superstorm Sandy.
  • Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and wife Ann Romney vote in Belmont, Massachusetts, November 6, 2012.
  • Voters line up outside a polling station at Yorkshire Elementary School in Manassas, in Prince William County, Virginia, November 6, 2012. (David Byrd/VOA)
  • Lindsay Reiter votes while holding her 5-month-old daughter, Savannah, at an elementary school in Bowling Green, Ohio, November 6, 2012.
  • People prepare to cast their ballots inside a polling station just after midnight on November 6, 2012 in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, the very first voting to take place in the 2012 U.S. presidential election.
  • Ballots are removed from the ballot box to be counted in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, November 6, 2012, as they cast the first Election Day votes in the nation.
  • The votes sheet shows the results from Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, November 6, 2012 after residents cast the first Election Day votes in the nation. After 43 seconds of voting.
  • U.S. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) and his wife Ann Romney (R) at a rally late November 5, 2012, at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at his last campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, November 5, 2012.
  • People vote early at a polling station in Chicago, Illinois, November 5, 2012. (Ramon Taylor/VOA)

Romney, a one-time venture capitalist, voted Tuesday morning in Massachusetts, the northeastern state he once governed, but where Obama is expected to win easily.

Romney then traveled to the closely contested state of Ohio in the central part of the country to visit a campaign office and then flew to neighboring Pennsylvania, a state long-thought to be safely in Obama's grasp, but one where Romney hopes an upset might occur.

Obama's running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, also headed to Cleveland, Ohio, to counter Romney's visit.  Romney was joined there by his running mate, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, who then headed to another battleground state, Virginia.

Last-minute sprint

President Obama and Romney traveled across several key battleground states Monday in a final effort to sway any remaining undecided voters.

US President Barack Obama speaks at his last campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on November 5, 2012.US President Barack Obama speaks at his last campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on November 5, 2012.
US President Barack Obama speaks at his last campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on November 5, 2012.
US President Barack Obama speaks at his last campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on November 5, 2012.
Obama made campaign stops in Wisconsin and Ohio, before holding a final rally in Iowa, the state that gave him his first primary victory in his historic 2008 White House campaign.  The Democratic incumbent touted his accomplishments during his presidency, including the bailout of the U.S. auto industry and the killing of Osama bin Laden, but said he needed another term to complete his agenda.

"Our fight for change goes on," Obama said.  "Because we know this nation cannot succeed without a growing, thriving middle class and sturdy ladders for everybody who's willing to work to get into that middle class.  Our fight goes on because America's always done best when everybody's got a fair shot and everybody's doing their fair share, everybody plays by the same rules.  The people of Iowa understand that.  That's what we believe, that's why you elected me in 2008, and Iowa, that's why I'm running for a second term as president of the United States."

US Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) and his wife Ann Romney (R) at a rally late November 5, 2012 at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.US Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) and his wife Ann Romney (R) at a rally late November 5, 2012 at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.
US Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) and his wife Ann Romney (R) at a rally late November 5, 2012 at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.
US Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) and his wife Ann Romney (R) at a rally late November 5, 2012 at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Romney held a rousing late-night rally in New Hampshire, where he launched his campaign more than a year ago, after events in Florida, Virginia and Ohio.  The former Massachusetts governor said his record as both a successful businessman and politician shows he, not Obama, would bring about real change for the nation.

"I built a business, I turned around another one, I helped put an Olympics back on track, and with a Democrat legislature, I helped turned my state from deficit to surplus, and from job losses to job growth, and we went from higher taxes to higher take-home pay," noted Romney.  "And that's why I'm running for president, because I know how to change the course the nation is on, and I'll do it."

Voters in the small New Hampshire towns of Dixville Notch and Hart's Location cast their ballots at midnight local time (0500 UTC) Tuesday, keeping with tradition in being the first locations in the nation to vote on Election Day.  Obama and Romney tied at five votes each in Dixville Notch.  In Hart's Location, the president won 23 votes while Romney finished with nine.
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Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: Oliver from: New Zealand
November 06, 2012 3:06 PM
America is a large ship. Anyone who thinks that Obama broke the US in a single term is not thinking. Bush, The War on Terror, US Foreign Policy and a lack of ability to handle a now transparent world culture has seen to it that the US will surely sink. Wake up America, Obama is the best thing you had going for you, but your convoluted, corrupt, opaque and poisonous political system coupled with an inwardly focussed culture of greed (sorry Democrats) over the past decades has guarunteed your collapse. The Emperor has no clothes.

November 06, 2012 3:02 PM
Religious Republican zombies are coming out of the woodwork -- descending on America! Scary or what?
Romney; would be the equivalent to the Taliban -- in his treatment of women’s rights and the gay community -- with his extreme cultist attitude … if ever elected!
Religion; is the biggest bully on the block!
IRS codes prohibit churches from endorsing or opposing political candidates!
The IRS … should immediately tax churches -- that break that rule!
Churches -- are opposing gay rights -- based on a cult! Tax them or shut them down!
Roman Catholic; Baptist & Mormon churches who were involved in Proposition 8; against the gay community – should be shut down immediately and/or have their tax exemption status revoked!
Church manses; mansions; corporate jets and Christian college campuses … should face taxes or be shut down -- based on corruption and/or being involved in cultism!
Mormons are nothing more than homophobic bigots and lustful religious lunatics; who harvested women … attempting to scrutinize themselves; into eternity – without success!

United States President Obama should be praised for standing up for human rights … by supporting the gay community! To see the religious lunatics try to manipulate government and our lives – is shameful.
Romney as President; would mean the darkest & meanest period in the United States of America’s history. Homophobic -- witchcraft would rule the government from Rome & Salt Lake City …!

In Response

by: Don from: Dallas
November 07, 2012 3:36 PM
you do remember that Obama was against gay marriage until it was politically expedient to support it...what 's killing this country is that the electorate doesn't bother to do their homework and look at the issues...they drink the kool aid of the main stream media...

by: Rudy Warman from: England
November 06, 2012 2:32 PM
Why has RON PAUL been pushed aside.
Your voting for puppets of the same corporate machine...
In Response

by: Kumar from: India
November 06, 2012 5:12 PM
I really can't believe a great man like Ron Paul is cast out. They punished him for his integrity, honesty and his true belief in liberty.

However I am relieved that if RON was elected the US would have restored its super power. But after Ron's term again it will be replaced by someone like Bush/Romney. Leaving in the rest of the world in chaos.

America has lost an opportunity to demonstrate the world that if ruled by men like RON(righteous, who stands for his beliefs ) it can make a big difference. I hope he wins in 2016

by: Chris from: Kansas
November 06, 2012 2:10 PM
They need to bring back popular vote instead of electoral votes. A president should be picked by the majority of the PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES as a whole not states that have the most electoral votes.
In Response

by: Leah from: Texas
November 06, 2012 3:33 PM
In Response

by: Marc from: Inside
November 06, 2012 3:33 PM
I don't think that it will go the way you want. Mr. Kansas. Either way. Popular or Electoral(Unless you get your info ONLY from Fox news). If you want fair and balanced news. Watch NBC, CNN, and FOX. Don't just listen to the views of the people you share, listen to the other side.

by: Jon from: Canada
November 06, 2012 11:12 AM
For the life of me, I do not understand why anyone in their right mind would vote for Romney. A high powered blundering fool. A G.W. Bush look-alike disgrace. To all those who are broke and vote yes to Romney give a vote to a leader that says that broke people are broke because they want to be broke.

So go ahead and vote for Romney all you broke ones and prove to the simple headed Romney that he is correct. He just got your yes vote.
Shakespeare could not have written such a tragedy in all of his career. RIP USA.
In Response

by: Stanley Ekefre from: Nigeria
November 06, 2012 5:18 PM
Am really enjoying this whole Drama, but @ the end Obama will still win, you all should look @ the bright side...
In Response

by: marc from: canada
November 06, 2012 3:37 PM
Socialist???? You think canada is socialist? Maybe in comparision to the live and let die of the USA.

Some canadian provinces pay less taxes than many US states. And look what we get more. The only thing we don't have that the USA has is DisneyWorld and an Army.

But we do have Disney world, it's only a plane ride away. And we do have an Army, it's called the United States Armed Forces. Since they have their nose everywhere, we are just protected because it's their business model.

It's their business model to have bases in Germany, Japan, Korea, etc etc etc

FACT: 60% of American Citizens will spend their retirement savings on treatment of Cancer.

In Response

by: Anonymous
November 06, 2012 3:24 PM
Mike from USA - You are a prime example of a ignorant American who knows nothing about the rest of the world, yet you try to talk about "world affairs"? Give me a break. Maybe the elected president will decide to give some money to the education system so that you will be able to find a job and not have the highest poverty rate in North America. The rich get richer and nothing is done to actually help the poor.
In Response

by: Jennie from: Maryland
November 06, 2012 3:23 PM
Do you really think it makes a difference whether the republicans or the democrats are in power? There are two tyoes of politicians in the US. Those that are stinking rich and those that want to be stinking rich...at any cost.

The only possible difference I see between the two major parties is their opinion on minority and womens reproductive health issues. OMG, the "A" word! Run for cover politicians!

Aside from getting to cherry pick either conservative or liberal supreme court justices, it doesn't make a bit of difference who is elected. And yes, I voted.
In Response

by: Zachary from: Australia
November 06, 2012 3:10 PM
The only tragedy is the complete failure of the Obama presidency, either he lied about everything he would do to turn America around or he have just being too incompetent to do it..."Ill half the deficit" he said...he doubled it. "I'll bring unemployment below 5%"...it's at 7.8%
Obama will be the downfall of America, not because he's a bad guy (although having a kill list which he signs off on daily from his office to bomb people with drones on he other side of the world might suggest otherwise) but because of he's hopeless policies.
In Response

by: John from: Philly, PA
November 06, 2012 2:51 PM
Why would you want another 4 years of this?
Were broke, beaten and the laughing stock of the world..
Look around were not the power house anymore
In Response

by: Cat from: New Zealand
November 06, 2012 1:35 PM
Does America not understand the U-turn in global popularity as a result of Obama's presidency??
In Response

by: Mike from: USA
November 06, 2012 11:50 AM
Worry about your own country. We have free elections here and its our choice. Mind your own business. And while your at it take all the Canadian celebrities back. If Canada is sooo great why can't they make any money there? Stay out of our politics and we will forget about your do nothing country when it comes to world affairs.
In Response

by: Real Canadian from: Canada
November 06, 2012 11:39 AM
They don't want to get stuck with socialism like we are. They are free people.

Stick to things you understand like lego and teletubbies.

by: bay from: NC
November 06, 2012 11:07 AM
The reason there are so many broke people is because of the Democrats. If they are re-elected we will be broke financially and emotionally.
In Response

by: Marc from: Reality
November 06, 2012 3:44 PM
Wake up!!!! The reason so many people are broke is because USA went through a recession! Caused NOT BY DEMOCRATS.

Do you blame bad news on the person who delivers you your newspaper??? Or the people who cause the bad news???

Grow up! Can't fix problems if you can't even identify the source of the problem.

Back off and let others fix the mistake. And stop complaining when it's taking too long for the democrates to make you a new sandwhich after the Republicans burnt your last one.

by: Debra from: Salt Lake
November 06, 2012 10:12 AM
I am broke and I voted Romney/Ryan.
Obama bailed out the banks-- those are the rich. Redistributing wealth is not a way to show you care, it is a way to show you are in control, and taking a way free will. How many jobs were saved in Ohio? 400? The rest went to China?
In Response

by: Marc from outside the US from: Canada
November 06, 2012 3:30 PM
It is scary how your comments are "stay out of our politics" when the USA is in everyone's politics. Hypocrites???

Also you are naive that you don't think that your decision affects everyone in the world.

The global reccession is mostly (not 100%) due to Bush.

So yes, people who are affected can have an opinion.

Our opinion may not count in terms of an actual vote. But if I can convince one person to vote for the world, the planet, their community it may actually be in the best interest of the many.

Sadly, I have no idea where Romney stands. I was pro-Romney until this year. Then I had no idea who he was.
In Response

by: Dan from: Canada
November 06, 2012 3:20 PM
Its important for Canadian's to care because the hysterical nature of American popular opinion and the inability to exercise even the slightest critical thinking leads me, and other Canadians, to conclude poor choices will be made. Romney should never get a vote, simply look at his contributors. Ask yourself, as you vote for Romney, why you and the CEO of XYZ bank are voting for the same candidate. One of you suffers from false consciousness. Its not the CEO.
In Response

by: David from: Central Coast
November 06, 2012 3:15 PM
To Sydney from Ohio....go Romney!
In Response

by: Melanie from: Tulsa
November 06, 2012 2:23 PM
I am not American, but I live here for two years. What is shocking that the whole campany looks like a soap opra, that's the first. The second is, everybody should sit back and refect the past to learn from it. Rommy would be the wrost choise you can go with because the own party said they just need to sign him the papers that are already printet. He is a selffish person who just runs for the title. I am not saying Obama is all good but on the end he is the much better choice.

When it comes to pur people in the US you need to change your whole politics and Obama is fighting for it but that will be not happen in the way to prevent this problem, everybody in the US needs to start changing the way of thinking and live that will bring change. For example, why do you need to cary wapons around when you have all ready enough violant? Where I come from we not aloud to cary wapons and we have not such a high leve of penalty in my country but our crime is not even 1/4 of the US. So your systhem don't work. I could bring more but it would be way to much. I think the mentality have to change and than you will have so realy change in your country.
Please don't starts freaking out my gramma or spelling, like I said I am just here for 2 years.
In Response

by: Alley from: VA
November 06, 2012 1:42 PM
republicans are counting on the uneducated and ignorant vote. these people only want to see their own reflection in the presidents chair...someone they 'understand' and who will never ever help them or fight for them, just as they won't fight for their own neighbor.
In Response

by: Linda from: Florida
November 06, 2012 1:42 PM
To Sydney from Ohio - are you employed? Or are you waiting for the government to support you?
To Jon from Canada - why are you even in this discussion??
In Response

by: Brendan McCourt from: Manchester, England, UK
November 06, 2012 11:29 AM
Hello, I know I should not get involved in your country's politics but I was holiday in Florida back in October 2004 and a lot of publicity was on that election i.e. the second term for George W ... I said at the time "please don't vote that lunatic in again" and you did.

This Romney fella is identical to Bush and God help us if he gets in ... like a vast majority of the UK, we hope Obama get's re-elected, of course our Tory ( conservatives ) Party would love to see Mitt in office and look at the state of us...they help the rich get richer believe me.

Take care.
In Response

by: sydney from: Ohio
November 06, 2012 11:02 AM
you realy don't know what you're saying.

by: Kris from: Pittsburgh, PA
November 06, 2012 9:57 AM
I hope you're right....

by: Erik Moore from: La Mesa CA
November 06, 2012 9:34 AM
Today we will se the result of an America that is full aware of Romney's motives to pander to the 1%. Too many Americans are dead broke. And broke people don't vote Republican anymore.
In Response

by: David from: Australia
November 06, 2012 4:35 PM
These too many Americans that are broke, went broke under Obama and his mismanagement of the economy, the US dollar and creating jobs. If printing more money and deflating your purchasing power of commodities and energy and trying to get yourself out of debt by borrowing more money from China & now your biggest creditor Japan is your answer LOL
In Response

by: Jones from: New Orleans
November 06, 2012 4:05 PM
If President Obama was all that bad why you all never took a life raft and left this horrible place. Bottom line ya'll racist people and I bet ya'll catholics. How do I know, Most Catholics don;t know how to love outside their race, but I love you all and will be praying for yall racist souls. Bush got over 4,000 people killed none of you all care, WHY he;s white, so stop it.
In Response

by: mike from: las vegas nevada
November 06, 2012 1:30 PM
all you guys talk money your broke cause money keeps being printed. obama has a plan to print two trillion more in office again. so go ahead you will be broke again. imagine paying $6 a gallon for gas and $5 for a loaf of bread. if they cant manage the money they just print it!!!!
In Response

by: Kris
November 06, 2012 12:31 PM
I don't understand how on Earth Ron Paul lost to Romney? Americans don't like to elect honest person who absolutely believes in Liberty?
In Response

by: Anonymous
November 06, 2012 12:06 PM
sidney you must have been one of the few that flurished under Obama, right?
In Response

by: sydney from: Ohio
November 06, 2012 11:04 AM
am really feeling pitty for all you who are following blindly behind the so called romney.
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