The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

AP story section

November 7, 2012

Iowa voters pick Obama in presidential election

DES MOINES — Democrat President Barack Obama won the battleground state of Iowa Tuesday, a hard-fought victory in the state he credits with launching his presidency four years ago.

Obama and Republican Mitt Romney traveled frequently to Iowa and spent millions of dollars on advertising to win Iowa's six electoral votes.

Voters also returned two incumbent Democrats and a Republican to Congress, handing victories to Democrat Reps. Bruce Braley and Dave Loebsack, and Republican Rep. Steve King.

In the 3rd Congressional District, eight-term Democratic incumbent Leonard Boswell was voted out of a job. He was beat by nine-term incumbent Republican Rep. Tom Latham, who moved into the Des Moines-centered district after Iowa lost a seat due to once-a-decade redistricting.

Voters were also asked Tuesday to determine whether a state Supreme Court judge stays on the bench and whether Republicans gain control of the state Legislature.

While most polling places saw no issues, large numbers of voters who registered at the polls created long lines in one county and caused a few others to run out of ballots. College students in Cedar Falls and Ames registering to vote for the first time slowed the process, creating a line of several hundred voters in a Cedar Falls precinct.

Up to 45 percent of Iowa voters cast their ballots early. Officials said more than 673,000 residents voted by the end of the day Monday — a nearly 25 percent increase over the 2008 record of just over 545,000.

On Tuesday, an unexpected number of voters registering at the polls in two Madison County precincts caused a ballot shortage. Workers made photocopies to accommodate all voters.

Ida County elections workers struggled to keep up with roughly 1,100 absentee ballots, a sizeable figure in a county of about 7,000 people.

"It's been huge for us," said Auditor Lorna Steenbock.

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