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Nashua polling sites are busy with activity
Residents wait in line to vote Tuesday outside Bicentennial Elementary School in Nashua's Ward 8. (Kimberly Houghton/Union Leader Correspondent)
A voter hands over her photo identification card Tuesday at Bicentennial Elementary School in Nashua's Ward 8. (Kimberly Houghton/Union Leader Correspondent)
Residents wait to vote inside of the Ward 8 polling site on Tuesday in Nashua. (Kimberly Houghton/Union Leader Correspondent)
NASHUA -- Voters came out in full force Tuesday, hitting the polls ready and willing to wait in lengthy lines, which for the most part moved quickly and efficiently throughout the city.
“Busy. That is pretty much all I can say about it,” Ward 5 Moderator Patricia Allan said of the Election Day turnout in Nashua. “I expected this.”
More than 2,080 ballots had been cast by mid-morning at the Ward 5 polling site at Main Dunstable Elementary School.
Extra poll workers were in place directing voters to their appropriate lines, trying to speed up the voting process and get people in and out of the parking lot as quickly as possible.
“The line started up around 5:30 this morning, and it quickly stretched all the way around to the end of the building,” said state Rep. Don Lebrun, who was seeking a second term in office. “About 200 people were here before the doors even opened.”
By noon Tuesday, only about seven affidavits were signed by residents who opted not to show an identification card, according to Allan, adding she was pleased that residents were cooperating and getting out their photo identification in advance.
Not far away at Bicentennial Elementary School where Ward 8 voters gathered, election workers said they were having a busy, yet smooth day at the polls.
Gene Anderson, Ward 8 moderator, said about 1,300 ballots had already been cast by mid-morning, and he expected between 500 and 800 new voters to register at the polls in his ward.
The line to vote extended around the building before the doors opened, but by mid-morning, the line was moving smoothly and voters were getting in and out of the parking lot with ease.
“I think we will exceed the Secretary of State's estimate,” predicted Joe Krasucki, a candidate for state senate. “The nation is in action now, and I think this is a super turnout.”
While campaigning outside Ward 8, Krasucki said he was impressed with the amount of voters who hit the polls before noon on Tuesday.
Feeling optimistic about his campaign for state senate in District 13, Krasucki, a House Republican, said he hopes for a full GOP sweep across the board.
Neil Swendsboe of Nashua agreed, spending his day holding Mitt Romney and Ovide Lamontagne signs to show his support for the Republican presidential and gubernatorial candidates.
“I am out here for America. I am here for our country,” said Swendsboe. “We need to get pumped up.”
Standing next to them outside the polls were a group of lively Democratic supporters waving signs and chanting “Barack Obama.”
“We are Obama fans loud and proud. Our whole family is here to voice our support,” said Lisa Quinto, who joined a group of Nashua bus drivers voting to keep Obama in the White House for another four years.
According to Quinto, Obama has the backing of many New Hampshire voters who are committed to seeing him remain in office.
“Most importantly, we are so pleased with the turnout,” said Quinto, noting the steady stream of voters entering and exiting Bicentennial Elementary School.
City Clerk Paul Bergeron expected between 40,000 and 42,000 voters to cast their ballots Tuesday in Nashua, which is significantly higher than the 7,000 voters who participated in the state primary election earlier this year.
For Ward 8, the new voter identification law was not creating any problems early on, as only a handful of affidavit requests were issued by noon, according to Anderson.
Congressman Charlie Bass of Peterborough spent his morning visiting polling sites in Milford, Amherst and Nashua.
“I feel really good. A high turnout election is good for me,” Bass said while joining supporters outside the Ward 8 polling site in Nashua.
Bass described himself as a “strong-principled Republican” who believes that Americans want solutions as a result of this important election.
“I have a good feeling about things today,” he added. Bass was running against Hopkinton Democrat Ann McLane Kuster for the Second Congressional District.
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