US elections: Voting underway to elect next President

American citizens began casting their votes on Tuesday to decide whether the next US President will be Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, as per a BBC report. Poll results have indicated that Obama holds a slight edge in the competition in the key battleground states.

The residents of a small township in the New Hampshire State were reportedly the first to cast their ballot just shortly after midnight in the US Presidential elections. The voting resulted in a tie with five votes each for Obama and Romney.

Dixville Notch in New Hampshire has been casting the first ballot of presidential elections since 1960.

Obama cast his vote through early voting along with First Lady Michelle Obama, as he became the first US President to do so.

According to latest figured complied by the US Election Project of the George Mason University, more than 30.5 million voters had already cast their ballots.

Barack Obama, who casted his vote through early voting along with First Lady Michelle Obama, led from the front as he became the first US President to do so.

The battle between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for the White House might be hogging the limelight, but US voters will also elect the entire House of Representatives, one-third of the Senate and 13 governors in key elections Tuesday.

Republicans are expected to keep control of the House of Representatives, while Democrats were tipped to remain in sway of the Senate in today's elections, media here reported.

The Senate's 100 members serve six-year terms and one third of the seats are up for election every two years.

Besides, 11 states and two territories will elect governors in today's polls.

Both sides cast the Election Day choice as one with far-reaching repercussions for a nation still recovering from the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression and at odds over how big a role government should play in solving the country's problems.

"It's a choice between two different visions for America," Obama declared in Madison, Wis, asking voters to let him complete work on the economic turnaround that began in his first term. "It's a choice between returning to the top-down policies that crashed our economy, or a future that's built on providing opportunity to everybody and growing a strong middle class."

Romney argued that Obama had his chance and blew it.

"The president thinks more government is the answer," he said in Sanford, Fla. "No, Mr. President, more jobs, that's the answer for America."

With both sides keeping up the onslaught of political ads in battleground states right into Election Day, on one thing, at least, there was broad agreement: "I am ready for it to be over," said nurse Jennifer Walker in Columbus, Ohio.

It wasn't just the presidency at stake Tuesday: Every House seat, a third of the Senate and 11 governorships were on the line, along with state ballot proposals on topics ranging from gay marriage and casino gambling to repealing the death penalty and legalizing marijuana. Democrats were defending their majority in the Senate, and Republicans doing likewise in the House, raising the prospect of continued partisan wrangling in the years ahead no matter who might be president.

If past elections are any guide, a small but significant percentage of voters won't decide which presidential candidate they're voting for until Tuesday. Four percent of voters reported making up their minds on Election Day in 2008, and the figure was 5 percent four years earlier, according to exit polls.

By contrast, Election Day came early for more than a third of Americans, who chose to cast ballots days or even weeks in advance.

An estimated 46 million ballots, or 35 percent of the 133 million expected to be cast, were projected to be early ballots, according to Michael McDonald, an early voting expert at George Mason University who tallies voting statistics for the United States Elections Project. None of those ballots were being counted until Tuesday.

The two candidates and their running mates, propelled by adrenalin, throat lozenges and a determination to look back with no regrets, stormed through eight battleground states and logged more than 6,000 flight miles Monday on their final full day of campaigning, a political marathon featuring urgency, humor and celebrity.

Obama's final campaign rally, Monday night in Des Moines, Iowa, was filled with nostalgia. A single tear streamed down Obama's face during his remarks, though it was hard to tell whether it was from emotion or the bitter cold.