AP PHOTOS: New Hampshire voters gather to vote for president

AP News
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Posted: Feb 09, 2016 11:38 AM
AP PHOTOS: New Hampshire voters gather to vote for president

NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Starting at the stroke of midnight, when a handful of small towns opened their polls, tens of thousands of New Hampshire voters cast ballots Tuesday, choosing their favorites among the pack of Republicans and Democrats who hope to one day be president.

Here's what some of them had to say as they headed to the polls in Nashua, a small city near the state's border with Massachusetts.

The former textile hub, now home to some notable tech firms like HP, Dell and Oracle and with a downtown enjoying a revival of sorts, has more than 50,000 registered voters, of which nearly 15,000 are Democrats, 12,000 are Republicans and 24,000 are unaffiliated.

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"I felt like he was the most honest," said Nicole Reitano, a 24-year-old from Nashua who voted for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, running against Democrat Hillary Clinton. "He's had the same views forever and he's never budged. That makes me feel confident in him."

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"It's very important to vote and we always vote for the person we think is going to help the most people," said Alanna Van Antwerpen, 40, of Nashua, as she voted with her 6-year-old daughter, Norah, at her side.

Van Antwerpen, who declined to say who she voted for, said she was just glad the primary season, at least for New Hampshire, was finally over.

"If we make it to this time next year in one piece as a nation, I'd be impressed," she said. "There's this underlying tension. Everyone gets a little amped up. People are very committed to the political process here."

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"We voted for Hillary," said Kelly Stephens, 33, of Nashua, who voted with her husband Andrew Stephens, 34. "My heart kind of wanted Bernie, but my head went the Clinton route. She's a little more put together with her ideas."

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"We like that he is a born again Christian," said Phyllis Grant, an 80-year-old from Nashua who voted for GOP Texas Sen. Ted Cruz along with her husband, Martin Grant, 87.

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"I bounce around between Democrat and Republican," said Edward O'Neill, 68, a retired General Electric worker from Nashua who declined to say who he ended up voting for. "This election has been really crazy. I really just made up my mind when I sat down in the voting booth."

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"I voted for Hillary," said Ashok Patel, 58, of Nashua. "I think she is the most likely to win. I don't know Bernie well and I see Hillary with more potential to win. I also think it's about time that one of the best democracies in the world has a woman as president."