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New Hampshire Voters Head To The Polls In First-In-The-Nation Primary

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

And so we have nearly reached the end of almost 24 hours of voting in New Hampshire. The first ballots were cast at midnight, and a few final polls will close in about 20 minutes. Jack Rodolico of New Hampshire Public Radio has been out talking with voters today and sent us this story.

JACK RODOLICO, BYLINE: As big fluffy, snow fell to the ground this morning, people streamed into the gym of the Broken Ground School in Concord to vote. And Betty Ward pretty much summed up the sentiments of many here.

BETTY WARD: The media, the phone calls, the polling. I'll be glad when everybody leaves. But it's pretty exciting.

RODOLICO: Ward likes to take advantage of her small state's big role in national politics.

WARD: You know, I'm very fortunate to be able to vote in this primary. Other people in other states can't. And I think that's a real tragedy.

RODOLICO: Ward voted for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, as did Fernando Difronzo.

FERNANDO DIFRONZO: I was really torn right 'til the last minute. I was debating whether to go Hillary or Bernie.

RODOLICO: And what pushed you to Bernie?

DIFRONZO: I guess my last vestige of youthful idealism (laughter).

RODOLICO: John Brandte was out holding a sign for former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. He says there's a good reason why political outsiders such as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have surged in this election cycle.

JOHN BRANDTE: The political elite, the political machine on both sides, is primarily out for themselves.

RODOLICO: Plenty of New Hampshire voters share this deep dissatisfaction.

SHERRI MILLER: Go Trump.

RODOLICO: At Memorial School in Bow, married couple Sherri and Liam Miller cast dueling Republican votes.

MILLER: We're canceling each other out. So he's Kasich, and I'm Trump, so - but hey, you know, that's what it's all about.

RODOLICO: Back in Concord, another Kasich voter is Judith Durgin. She considers him a moderate.

JUDITH DURGIN: On both sides, Democratic and Republican, a lot of the people don't represent me. They are so far right and left, they're closer together than they are closer to me.

RODOLICO: Many voters say the candidates didn't inspire a lot of passion in them. Married couple Paula and Bill Jewell said they both liked Bernie Sanders, but voted for Hillary Clinton. Regardless, they say they're just totally done with this election.

PAULA JEWELL: We want to watch news on the TV instead of election junk, instead of Trump yelling and...

BILL JEWELL: ...And I'll be happy to see this fiasco go away.

P. JEWELL: Yeah.

B. JEWELL: That's what I think it is.

RODOLICO: New Hampshire voters will only get a short rest. Races for the governor's office, a Senate seat, Congress and the statehouse have already started to heat up. For NPR News, I'm Jack Rodolico, Concord, N.H. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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