5 things to know as N.H. voters head to the polls

Tuesday November 6, 2012

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- 1. AT THE POLLS: The 46 voters who live in tiny Dixville Notch and Hart’s Location can vote at midnight. Polling hours in other places vary, with the earliest openings at 6 a.m. and the latest closings at 8 p.m.

2. SWING STATE: President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney have been fighting hard for New Hampshire’s four electoral college votes. They’ve each made multiple visits to the state, as have their surrogates. In a close race, every electoral vote could be important. If Al Gore had won New Hampshire in 2000, he wouldn’t have needed to worry about Florida.

3. A NEW GOVERNOR: No matter who wins, New Hampshire will get a new governor as Democrat John Lynch retires after eight years. Democrat Maggie Hassan is competing with Republican Ovide Lamontagne for a two-year term.

4. CONGRESSIONAL REMATCHES: If you have deja vu when you look at the congressional races on your ballots, there’s a reason. New Hampshire’s two congressional races are both rematches of 2010. In the 1st Congressional District, Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta is facing Democrat and former Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. In the 2nd Congressional District, Republican U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass and Democrat Annie Kuster are facing off.

5. BALLOT QUESTIONS: There will be three questions on the ballot. Voters will decide whether to amend the constitution to a) prevent the legislature from imposing an income tax and b) allow the legislature to make rules for the state’s courts. Those two items need two-thirds majorities to pass. The third question will ask whether the state should have a constitutional convention to propose and debate constitutional amendments. That question just needs a majority to pass.


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