Nov 4, 2014 12:20 PM

Polls throughout the state report strong turnout in early voting

CONCORD - The total number of votes cast today is likely to surpass previous mid-term elections in New Hampshire, according to David Scanlan, deputy secretary of state.

"We're hearing reports of healthy and steady turnout around the state," he said. "It looks consistent with (Secretary of State) Bill Gardner's prediction of 464,000 votes cast."

That would put turnout in the 50 percent range - which Scanlan called a "healthy turnout" for a mid-term election.

In a presidential year, when there's a good turnout, the range is around 70 percent.

As of mid-day, the Secretary of State had not heard of any significant concerns or potential voting problems at any polls.

"Just typical calls that we get on Election Day," Scanlan said. "A lot are related to electioneering zones, sign holding. Town clerks are calling for direction, or candidates complaining that they're being kept too far."

It could be a long evening for those awaiting results in some of the most closely contested races.

"Any time you have a large turnout, it just takes more time to count the ballots," he said. "Based on the polls, it looks like we have a number of close races."

Scanlan said slightly more than half the polling stations in the state use optical scanners, which make results available soon after polls close. Since those tend to be in the larger communities, they account for a little more than 75 percent of ballots cast.

The remaining 20 to 25 percent of the ballots have to be hand-counted after the polls close.


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