By Marcin Bryszak
As the 2012 Campaign nears its end, President Barack Obama and his opposition candidate Mitt Romney prepare for the possibility that the result will be decided in court.
The first results were tallied today in Dixville Notch and Hart’s Location, New Hampshire, shortly after midnight local time.
Obama and Romney each received five votes, indicating how close the race will be right from the start.
Consequently, there is a possibility that the winner will be pronounced by the courts.
Both Obama’s and Romney’s campaigns have assembled legal teams to deal possible litigation, especially in the critical battlegrounds – the swing states of Florida and Ohio.
In Florida, Democrats have launched legal challenges over restrictions on early voting, which have resulted in some voters waiting up to seven hours to cast their ballot. This is seen as an attempt to prevent people from voting by many.
In Ohio, Republicans are due in court on Wednesday defend new rules governing the type of identification presented by voters, which could invalidate thousands of ballots.
According to Bloomberg news, the 2012 election has already sparked “two dozen lawsuits in the past six months over voter rules, including photo ID requirements and limited poll hours”. It also anticipates that the biggest wave of lawsuits will come after the election on Tuesday.
The close presidential race raises fears of an outcome similar to the 2000 election, where a deadlock over ballot design and tallying in parts of Florida led the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, to stop a recount of ballots, leading to President George W. Bush defeating Al Gore.