CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A steady flow of voters kept many polling places busy Tuesday in New Hampshire, a battleground state for the presidency with an open gubernatorial seat for the first time in eight years.
Voters turned out early, braving the cold to weigh in on the fate of New Hampshire's four electoral votes in a tight race between Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. They also are deciding between Democrat Maggie Hassan and Republican Ovide Lamontagne for governor.
In Concord, undeclared voter Bob Leighton showed his support for all Democrats, starting with Obama. The 56-year-old computer programmer said his family's financial situation is about the same as it was four years ago. He thinks the economy is improving slowly.
"I'm worried about some of the things Romney's going to do as far as taxes," he said. "I feel Obama is doing a good job. Things aren't changing enough for some people, but I feel like he's doing things the right way."
Carolyn Coskren of Concord, who owns a dance studio, voted for Romney.
"I've seen my business have a lot of rough times in the last four years," the 37-year-old undeclared voter said. "I think that the promises made in the last four years have not been kept. You can't do everything in four years, but things have gotten worse in a lot of ways rather than better. I just feel that Mitt Romney can do a very good job on the economy, and for me, that's very important right now."
In the gubernatorial race, Coskren said she voted for Lamontagne, saying she heard him speak at Romney's rally in Manchester on Monday night and was impressed with him.
Leighton voted for Hassan. "I just feel like voting for Lamontagne would be like voting for someone back in in the 1950s," he said.
Republican Larry Hause of Newbury, who owns a flooring company, voted for Romney but "switched it over" at the state level to vote for Hassan.
"Lynch has been doing a good job with the state," said Hause, 57, referring to New Hampshire's longtime, departing governor, Democrat John Lynch. He believes Hassan will continue that. "I don't have any big complaints with the state."
Voting officials said they saw large turnouts. At Newbury, 630 of the town's 1,539 registered voters had weighed in, and there were 219 absentee ballots waiting to be counted.
Some voting lines lingered as voters were asked to show photo identification or receive an affidavit under the state's new voter identification law. The last polls close at 8 p.m.