Voter Turnout Reported Heavy In Battlegrounds of Michigan, Florida

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:27 PM EDT

( - Reports from Michigan and Florida, states seen as vital to both Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore in their quest for the presidency, reported heavy voter turnout Tuesday.

Michigan Secretary of State Candace Miller said about 63 percent of registered voters are expected to vote in the Wolverine State. She says that is a four percent increase over 1996.

Tuesday morning, voters had to wait up to three hours at Detroit's Coleman Young recreation center because of the heavy voters turnout and problems with equipment.

In the Detroit suburbs of Ferndale and Grosse Pointe Park, voters had to wait about 30 to 45 minutes in line.

At one point in the Detroit suburb of Lenox Township, a small community of about 5,300, about 80 people waited in line to vote at the township firehouse.

In Florida, voter turnout in Orange County, which includes the Orlando area, was strong at mid-day.

Orange County election officials say turnout at ten polling places, considered "bellwether" precincts, averaged 35 percent of all registered voters, ranging from a low of 18 percent at the University of Central Florida arena in Orlando to a high of 55 percent at the Winter Park, Florida Presbyterian Church.

Election officials reported heavy turnout in other parts of Florida. Polls will close there at 7 p-m, Eastern time tonight. Polls in Michigan will close at 8 p-m, Eastern time, tonight.

Florida has 25 electoral votes, Michigan has 18 electoral votes.

Bush received some good news this morning from a couple of small towns in New Hampshire.

Two small towns in the Granite State, Dixville Notch and Hart's Location approved Bush for President. In Dixville Notch, all 27 registered voters showed up, with 21 voting for Bush, 5 for Gore, and 1 for Ralph Nader. Fifty miles south, in the town of Hart's Location, the vote was 17 for Bush, 13 for Gore, and 1 for a write-in candidate. Combining the votes from both towns, it was Bush over Gore, 38-18. Although both towns get headlines for their first-in-the-nation vote, they're not considered a reliable indicator of who will win the election.