US election set to break turnout records
The US presidential election looked set to break turnout records last night with state officials in Connecticut and Michigan predicting participation as high as 80 per cent. State officials in Pennsylvania said turnout there was about 70 per cent.
Officials in Virginia and Florida said the turnout broke 2008 records. Participation in the last election was in the high 60 percentile range and yesterday’s election had been expected to bring out figures around the 60 per cent mark.
Republicans claimed that in certain precincts in Ohio there was a 30 per cent rise in turnout on the last election.
It was not immediately clear if this dramatic increase would favour Barack Obama or Mitt Romney.
Turnout will be much lower in non swing states where the result is a foregone conclusion
At least 120 million Americans were expected to vote in presidential and congressional elections with profound implications for government spending, taxation, healthcare and foreign policy.
Much of the US saw mild, dry weather, which favours a high turnout, the primary concern for both sides at the conclusion of a long and gruelling campaign.
President Barack Obama held a slight lead in national and key swing state polls, but his victory over Mitt Romney was far from certain.
Asked if he would win, Mr Obama said: “It’s going to depend ultimately on whether those votes turn out.”
When Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, voted in Boston in the morning, they were greeted by a sign saying: “Mitt and Ann, enjoy your new White House.”