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Election Day 2012: Voters heading to polling places

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The long-awaited Election Day 2012 has arrived.   Polling places across New York State opened at 6 a.m. and will remain open through 9 p.m. Tuesday evening.  

Voters are deciding on the U.S. Presidential race as well as newly realigned Congressional Districts and other key races.  

WBFO News spoke with a local political professor about the big vote.

"Local races are tied, to some extend, to national races, and strengths and emotions or motivation that brings voters out to vote for the local races is related to  how much they care about the national races," said Matthew Bowker, political scientist at Medaille College in Buffalo.

Bowker said he believes the outcome of Tuesday's races will really come down to getting citizens out to the polls.

"The sides that people have chosen have probably been chosen, for the most part, probably for some time now," said Bowker.   "All the debates, all the ads and all the discussions we have been having  probably haven't been doing a lot in terms of changing peoples minds.  People are going to see what they want to see and hear."

Bowker also noted that he does not expect to see a big youth vote in this year's elections based on his discussions with students. 

"They see the political world as one that is governed by, and they are correct in this, by an insane amount of money, power and special interests.  So they typically feel a little bit left out and even if they vote, it won't make much of a difference," said Bowker.

Bowker tells WBFO News many college students remain "cynical" about politics.