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US Election 2012: The facts

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US Election 2012: The facts
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Washington: One of the world's largest electoral exercises in the world after India, the world's largest democracy, gets underway Tuesday when 169 million American voters go to the polls to chose a president, a new House of Representatives, 33 senators and thousands of local officials at a whopping cost of $6 billion.

Key facts:

. There are169 million registered voters, 86 million Democrat and 55 million Republican and 28 million others.

. They include about a half million voters from the 3.12 million strong Indian American community.

. Besides the president, the voters would be choosing 435 members of the House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 senators, one third of whom retire every two years.

. Democrats are defending 23 of the 33 seats up for grabs in the Senate where they currently have a majority of 53, including two independents who caucus with them.

. Five Indian-Americans, four Democrats and one Republican, are seeking election to the US Congress.

. A young Democrat woman from Hawaii is considered a shoo-in to become the first Hindu-American woman in the Congress.

. Eleven governorships are also up for grabs besides thousands of state and local officials.

. Voters will also tackle more than 1,000 local ballot issues Tuesday.

. These include right-to die in Massachusetts, gay marriage in Maine, abortion in Florida and Montana, death penalty in California and segregation in Alabama.

. There are currently 29 Republicans, 20 Democrats, and 1 Independent holding the office of governor in the states.

. There are 27 Republican-controlled and 15 Democratic-controlled legislatures besides 7 split legislatures and one officially non-partisan (Nebraska).

. More than 45 million US voters, or one out of every four who go to the polls, will cast a ballot on a machine that stores votes electronically, but doesn't create a paper ballot, according to Verified Voting.

. First of the Polls close at 7 p.m. (5:30 a.m. Wednesday India time) in six states including the battle ground state of Virginia (13 electoral votes) followed by all-important Ohio (18 electoral votes) half an hour later.

. The last of the polls close in Alaska at 1 a.m. Wednesday (11:30 a.m. Wednesday India time).

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