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Brisk polling underway as US chooses its next prez

Last updated on: November 06, 2012 21:19 IST's Bikash Mohapatra reports from Ohio, one of the battleground states in America's presidential election

The presidential race between incumbent Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney is neck and neck and the American electorate is doing its bit to elect (re-elect) the new leader.

"The voting has been brisk since morning," said Jane Platten, director, board of elections, Cuyohoga county. "We are facing the usual election day issues and we are ensuring voting doesn't stop when they face a problem like say, a ballot jam," she said.

Cuyohoga county is the largest of the 88 counties in Ohio, a swing state key to the overall results.

"We knew going into the polls that we are going to have a lot of people voting. So it wasn't unexpected," explained Platten, adding, "At this point we have not had any reports of untoward incidents. "We have observers all around monitoring the whole voting process." 

With there being considerable early voting, which starts 35 days ahead of the election day, this year the turnout on the day does convey how much the Americans feel for their country.

There is also provision of an absentee ballot and if the voter has failed to send it back, they are being made to cast their votes in a provisional ballot. "We know that these elections are high stakes but we have to stay focused and not let the outside atmosphere affect us," said Platten. 

"We are 100 per cent confident that things are going to go well," she added. The reports are similar in other parts of the country, if officials are to be believed.

Voting continues until 7.30 pm (local time) and results will start to tickle in thereafter.

Image: Voting underway at a polling booth in Cuyohoga county, Ohio.

Photo credit: Bikash Mohapatra

Bikash Mohapatra in Ohio