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Curt Mackail of Exeter took his Yorkshire terrier, Ralph, into the voting booth when he voted at the polls in Exeter Tuesday morning. (JASON SCHREIBER)

Exeter expects 80 percent voter turnout

EXETER - A steady stream of voters has kept poll workers busy, with nearly 3,000 casting ballots by noon.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Maggie Hassan was among the first to appear at the polls in her hometown shortly before 7:30 a.m.

Exeter town clerk Andrea Kohler said she expected about 80 percent of the town's 10,000-plus voters to turn out - a number similar to the 2008 presidential election.

However, she said more voters could show up this year with Hassan &#-; a &#';hometown girl&#'; &#-; on the ballot.

&#';There are some lines, but at least everybody is coming out to vote,&#'; Kohler said.

Republican Charles Mott, 51, said Republican gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne was really the one who brought him to the polls.

&#';I specifically voted Republican for Ovide because he's for slot machines at Rockingham Park,&#'; said Mott, who works at the Seabrook Greyhound Track.

Democrat Curt Mackail, 60, carried his 4-month-old Yorkshire terrier named Ralph into the booth with him when he cast his votes for Hassan and President Obama.

&#';He voted a straight doggie ticket. He said, 'More treats, fewer tricks,'&#'; joked Mackail, a music and band director at School Administrative Unit 16.

On a more serious note, Mackail said he feels the Obama administration has made progress in turning the economy around.

Chris Lyle, 57, a Democrat, said she also supported Obama because of the &#';security blanket&#'; that he provides.

&#';I like that Obama is for all the people, I believe. I like the safety net that he provides for all people and that's really important to me. There are so many hurting, struggling, poor people in this nation,&#'; she said. &#';I trust Obama more and what he is saying.&#';

Lyle said she also voted for Hassan because she feels that he will &#';follow the path&#'; of Democratic Gov. John Lynch.

&#';He's done very good things for New Hampshire and I do not like Ovide. I just don't like his proposals,&#'; she said.


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