Election officials in New Hampshire prepared ballots on Monday ahead of the first primary vote in the 2016 presidential campaign. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Counting the ballots -- and this is before any vote is cast. It's a ritual carried out throughout the New Hampshire -- which holds the first in the nation primary on February 9th. Pat Chadwick -- moderator of the Ward 1 says they are leaving nothing to chance. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PAT CHADWICK, MODERATOR FOR WARD 1 IN NASHUA, SAYING: "Well we have 6,340 registered voters in our ward. And I believe that the city clerk told us we could count on a 60 - 65 percent turnout. That could be higher by now. You know, there's a lot of excitement now; we're getting close. So, we never know but what we have to be prepared." And it's not just the household names on the ballots -- there are 30 candidates on the Republican ballot and 28 candidates on the Democratic ballot. New Hampshire has more than its share of fringe candidates. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PAT CHADWICK, MODERATOR FOR WARD 1 IN NASHUA, SAYING: "It's not just the top tier candidates that are on this ballot. It's everyone that has paid to get their name on this ballot and they're not in alphabetical order. So, we anticipate that it'll take a little bit longer because they'll have to find the candidate on the ballot and then they'll have to follow the line over and color the circle. So, it is going to take longer." As for turnout, State officials are predicting record attendance with contested races for both Republicans and Democrats.