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MO: Heavy Turnout Despite Wintry Mix

By Rob Stein
Polls closed in the hotly-contested state of Missouri, where election officials reported a heavy turnout despite heavy rain, sleet, freezing rain and snow.

In addition to possibly affecting turnout, officials made contingency plans to deliver the results after the polls closed, said Mindy Mazur of the secretary of state's office.

"People have back-up plans to make sure they don't get stuck in the snow with voting results in rural areas," she said. "We want to make sure the results get to the right place after the polls close."

Fifty-eight delegates are at stake on the Republican side and 88 are up for grabs for the Democrats is one of the most competitive states for both parties.

State election officials projected that 28 percent of eligible voters would come to the polls for the state's primaries, a sharp increase from the 15 percent turn-out four years ago.

In the days leading up to the voting, the state was the focus of last-minute appearances by former Ark. governor Mike Huckabee, former Mass. governor Mitt Romney, and Sens. John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Polls showed McCain leading, but with Huckabee and Romney close behind in some polls. On the Democratic side, Clinton and Obama were locked in a virtual tie.

While the winner of the Republican primary will take all 58 of the state's delegates, the Democrats allocate their delegates on a proportional basis. Forty-seven of the delegates will be awarded according to how the candidates do in each of nine congressional districts, while 25 will be awarded based on the statewide vote. Sixteen delegates will be unpledged.

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  February 5, 2008; 8:06 PM ET
Categories:  Midwest , Primaries , The Democrats , The GOP  
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