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Voters turn out in droves for Super Tuesday

  • Story Highlights
  • More than a million people vote in Massachusetts, official estimates
  • Schools "filled to the brim" with caucus goers in Colorado, CNN affiliate reports
  • Stormy weather forces closure of some polling places in Tennessee, Arkansas
  • Turnout in Georgia could be highest since 1992, officials predict
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(CNN) -- Increased voter registration and long lines Tuesday translated to a big turnout of voters for presidential primary contests across the country.

Students sign in to vote at a polling station at San Diego State University in California on Tuesday.

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, the state's top elections official, said 700,000 more Californians were on voter rolls than during the 2004 presidential cycle.

Turnout was "great" around Los Angeles, California, according to CNN affiliate KABC-TV.

"It's a very exciting election year," voter Terry Boudoin told the station.

But many Californians made their choice without showing up at the polls Tuesday. More than half of the state's 15.7 million voters were expected to cast absentee ballots, according to KABC.

In Georgia, county officials told Secretary of State Karen Handel that up to 35 percent of the state's registered voters were expected to cast a ballot, CNN affiliate WSB-TV reported.

The last time turnout was above 30 percent in Georgia was in 1992, according to the station. Photo See photos of Super Tuesday voting »

Earlier, waits of up to two hours were reported at some polling places in Atlanta, Georgia, WSB reported.

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Emory University professor Alan Abramowitz told the station the turnout indicated the high level of interest in the race.

"It's competitive and I think African-American voters are very motivated to turn out."

There was a similar story in Chicago, Illinois, the hometown of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

Some polling stations in predominantly African-American neighborhoods reported unusually large crowds, according to the Chicago Tribune. Video Watch voters across the country explain what drove them to the polls »

In Manchester, Connecticut, almost 70 percent of registered voters showed up at the polls -- such a high number that officials had to photocopy thousands of ballots to accommodate them, The Associated Press reported.

"It's amazing," registrar Frank Maffe Jr. told the AP.

There were also big crowds across the seven states that held caucuses Tuesday evening, including Minnesota and Colorado.

In Denver, Colorado, schools and churches were "filled to the brim" with caucus goers, with one location reporting a crowd 10 times bigger than the last time it hosted a caucus, according to CNN affiliate KUSA-TV.

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There were so many illegally parked cars outside one middle school in Littleton, Colorado, the local sheriff's office threatened to tow them away, the station reported.

Meanwhile, stormy weather interrupted voting in parts of the South.

Secretaries of state in Tennessee and Arkansas were forced to close some polling places Tuesday night after several destructive tornadoes tracked passed the area.

Farther north, more than a million people in Massachusetts -- or more than 30 percent of the state's registered voters -- were expected to cast ballots, The Boston Globe reported.

"You have a torrid Democratic fight and a very intense Republican fight," Secretary of State William F. Galvin told the newspaper. Video Watch an I-Reporter's voting experience in Massachusetts »

Election officials in Binghamton, New York, were also expecting a bigger-than-normal turnout of 25 percent to 35 percent, CNN affiliate WICZ-TV reported.

Obama's supporters said they saw signs of a good turnout based on the number of volunteers his campaign has drawn, according to CNN affiliate WKBW-TV in Buffalo, New York.

"I remember the first walk we did. There were four of us. ... Now, it is 400 to 500 people volunteering," volunteer Tim Redmond told WKBW.

In Arizona, elections officials said there were long lines at polling places around the state Tuesday, with some voters waiting up to one hour to cast their ballots, CNN affiliate KPHO-TV reported.

And in Houston County, Alabama, Probate Judge Luke Cooley told CNN affiliate WTVY-TV last week that she's expecting a 75 percent turnout as her state joins the Super Tuesday lineup for the first time.

In all, 58,000 new voters registered to cast ballots in Alabama in the three months before Super Tuesday, CNN affiliate WIAT reported.

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Americans living overseas also lined up in droves to cast their ballots. Some expatriates in Britain expressed amazement at the level of U.K. media coverage of Super Tuesday.

"It's almost like they are American stations," Mary Jo Jacobi told The Associated Press. "I've never seen this much international interest." Video Watch how overseas ballots could affect the race » E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

Copyright 2008 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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