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5 Important Things to Watch for on Election Day


(TheBlaze/AP) -- After months of bickering between the general election candidates, the 2012 presidential show-down will officially come to a close today (or, hopefully, pending how close the election is -- it will conclude in the coming days). Below, find five important things to watch out for as voters have their say in the presidential race between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney:

1. WHO TURNS OUT? Not all votes are created equal. The presidential candidates have competed furiously for support in well-established battlegrounds and among constituencies each finds the most favorable. A robust turnout among minorities would favor Obama's re-election; Romney needs to drive up his numbers among working-class white men, a group that has tilted his way in polls.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during his last rally the night before the general election November 5, 2012 in Des Moines, Iowa. The rally was held just outside Obama's first headquarters from the 2008 campaign, where his first march to the White House started. Obama and his opponent, Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are stumping from one 'swing state' to the next in a last-minute rush to persuade undecided voters. Credit: Getty Images

2. LATE RALLIES? Obama starts and ends his day in his hometown of Chicago. Romney is in Boston to vote in the morning and take in returns at night, but making a trip in between to Ohio and Pennsylvania. Will the late rush sway votes? Will Obama follow suit?

3. DOES IT FALL TO NEVADA? Of the nine most contested states, five fall in the Eastern time zone, two are on Central time, one is on Mountain time and the last -- Nevada -- is on Pacific. That makes Nevada the last to close, three hours after the first polling place end times in the East. Will the outcome still be unclear by then? If so, Nevada could prove more important than previously imagined.

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during his final campaign rally at Verizon Wireless Arena on November 5, 2012 in Manchester, New Hampshire. A day before the election, Romney was making one final push through swing states.Credit: Getty Images




4. PROVISIONAL BALLOTS? Disputes over who is eligible to vote could leave some ballots in limbo. Both sides have armies of lawyers on duty to keep eyes on polling places. When there is a doubt, voters could wind up casting ballots that may not immediately figure into election-night tabulations. Will those ballots come into play later?

5. CALL ME MAYBE? Acrimonious as the campaign was, losing presidential candidates have a tradition of wishing the victor well once his fate is clear. Some calls are placed on election night. Others get put off until morning when the dust fully settles. Should either Obama or Romney wait up by their phones? Tradition says "yes," but with the stakes so high this go-around, we'll have to wait and see.



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