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Heavy turnout, long lines, and high spirits at Milford poll
Susan Story of Milford keeps a running tab of who is voting so that those who haven't made it to the polls will get a reminder from the Romney campaign. (NANCY BEAN FOSTER)
MILFORD - Before the doors even opened at 6 a.m. at the Milford Middle School, people were lined up around the building ready to cast their vote in the general election.
"We had 330 people in the first half-hour," said town moderator Peter Basiliere.
By mid-morning, more than 900 people had filtered through the polls, and though the busiest time of the morning had passed, a steady stream of folks was still coming through the doors to cast ballots.
The new voter ID law wasn't causing any problems, said poll worker Noreen O'Connell, who was responsible for ensuring that people without identification filled out an affidavit declaring who they were. Around 35 to 40 people had completed the affidavits on Tuesday morning, and O'Connell said that around half did so out of protest.
"I know a lot of people in town and I know which ones are going to protest when they walk through the door," she said. "But they've all been very polite about it. They know it's not up to me."
Behind the polls, volunteers for Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign kept tabs on who had voted and who hadn't and were sending that information to the campaign to help get those folks who hadn't cast ballots to get to the polls.
Romney volunteer Susan Story said that they were supposed to be sending the voter information electronically, but a glitch in the system slowed the effort to get out the vote.
"We've been having to call in the names on our cellphones," she said.
Romney volunteer Dan Colby said he decided to man the polls because in his mind, the more people who vote, the more accurately politicians can gauge the will of the people.
"I just want them to vote," Colby said. "It's more important to me to see that the democratic process is working."
Bob Gagnon, another Romney volunteer, said being in Milford was very exciting because the town is a good indicator of how the rest of the state is voting.
"So goes Milford and Epping," he said, "so goes the state."
Basiliere said there weren't any poll watchers from the Obama camp on site as of Tuesday morning.
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