Voting in the US midterm general election has started

2014-11-04 16:14
Republican Senate candidate Dan Sullivan stands on stage during a campaign rally, in Anchorage, Alaska. (Ted S Warren, AP)

Republican Senate candidate Dan Sullivan stands on stage during a campaign rally, in Anchorage, Alaska. (Ted S Warren, AP)

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Washington - US voters head to the polls on Tuesday to elect one-third of the Senate, the entire House of Representatives and many local lawmakers.

Poll opening and closing times are set by officials in the states, with the first voting in nine eastern states beginning at 06:00 (11:00 GMT) and the last closing in Alaska and Hawaii at 05:00 GMT on Wednesday.

The first polls close at 19:00 on the East Coast 00:00 GMT) and the first exit polls and results can be expected soon after. Because so many candidates are standing for election, exit polls conducted for US media will focus on key states.

Most attention is focused on whether Republicans can take control of the Senate and the centre-right party must gain six seats in the 100-member chamber to do so. Because the key contests include the Alaska senate race, the breakdown of the Senate could be known only early on Wednesday.

Further races that could make a difference in what party wins control of the Senate are in Louisiana, where local laws make a December run-off possible, and in Kansas, where an independent candidate is mounting a challenge to a long-time Republican senator.

Read more on:    us  |  us elections 2014

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