Voters in several U.S. states are casting ballots Tuesday to select candidates for November elections for Senate, House of Representatives and local office.

The so-called primary voting is open to registered party members in nine states and the capital, Washington.

In Rhode Island, Senator Lincoln Chafee is facing a tough challenge from a conservative challenger in one Republican primary.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is widely expected to win the Democratic nomination in New York.  Other Senate primaries are taking place in Arizona, Maryland and Minnesota.

Voters in Minnesota also are casting ballots in a House race that includes one candidate who, if elected in November, would be the first Muslim in Congress.

There also are primaries for House seats in Arizona, Wisconsin and New York.

Democrats say the November elections are a key chance to win several seats in Congress, which is currently controlled by Republicans.

Election primaries also are being held today for mayor in Washington and for governor in Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.