Strong turnout follows bitter campaigning

(NBC News) Only about 53 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the presidential election in 2012, but the heated and contentious nature of this year’s campaign has the potential to push turnout higher this year.

Election Day began just after midnight with less than a dozen voters casting their ballots in in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.

That gave way to long, pre-dawn lines in many polling places around the country.

Those voters joined the record 46.3 million who cast ballots early.

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