Long lines for the start of the elections in the USA. The polling stations at the east coast have opened, slowly followed by the rest of the country. Barack Obama and John McCain have finally reached the final stage.
Voter turnout is expected to set a record: 130 million Americans will choose George W. Bush's successor. The polls give Obama a clear lead: also the most recent Zogby-Reuters poll sees him win in 5 of the 8 key States and on a national level he has an 11 point lead over his Republican rival. The website RealClearPolitics.com, which calculates an average of the 10 biggest polls in the country, this morning gives Obama 52pct of votes, against 44.2pct for McCain. Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, was the first to vote, just after midnight local time, and its 21 voters backed Obama with 15 to 6. In the small village of Hart's Location, also in New Hampshire, Obama's lead was less clear: 17 for him, 10 for McCain. The results of the 2 villages signals an important change: in the past two elections both voted for George W. Bush by a broad majority. It is the first time since 1968 that Dixville Notch votes for a Democrat.
Experts expect that of the over 200 million Americans allowed to vote, over 130 million will actually do so. The enthusiasm aroused by both candidates, who in the first 9 months of the year collected 600 and 300 million dollars, has already led to extraordinary results in the States that permit an early vote: over 23 million votes. The first States to close the polling stations will be at 01:00 on Wednesday Italian time Indiana, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia and New Hampshire. The last block to open and close includes North Dakota, California, Idaho, Washington (State) and Hawaii, which will close their stations at 06:00 on Wednesday. Alaska will be last, at 07:00 tomorrow morning.
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