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Voters deciding more than the next president

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans lined up at voting places around the country today to give their verdict on a long and bruising campaign for the White House and other matters.

In addition to the contest between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, every House seat, a third of the Senate and 11 governorships are on the line today.

Voters are also facing 176 ballot questions in 38 states. Washington, Oregon and Colorado decide whether to be the first to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Massachusetts is considering whether to allow physician-assisted suicide. Californians have a chance to repeal the death penalty. And Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington state have questions on gay marriage.

Puerto Ricans are deciding whether they want to change their ties with the U.S. They've got three alternatives: become the 51st U.S. state, independence, or "sovereign free association," a designation that would give more autonomy for the territory of 4 million people. They don't get to vote for president.

According to a study published by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 22 percent of registered voters have told others which candidates they support on a social networking site like Twitter or Facebook.

Those broadcasting their political views and votes are from both parties - 25 percent of President Barack Obama's supporters have posted their preferences and 20 percent of Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's supporters have done the same.

Forty-five percent of registered voters ages 18-29 say they have been encouraged to vote for another candidate via social media.


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