Cars Backed Up for Miles Amid New Hampshire Primary

New Hampshire voters have been flocking to the polls all day.

ByRyan Struyk and Shushannah Walshe
February 09, 2016, 7:21 PM

—MANCHESTER, New Hampshire -- New Hampshire voters have been flocking to the polls all day – and they’re still coming even though most polls are either closed or will close shortly.

One polling location in Merrimack had a two-mile-long line of cars waiting to cast their ballots in the crucial, first-in-the-nation primary. Cars were still backed up as far as the eye can see as of 7 p.m. EST.

Police are in the process of blocking off the road of cars coming in and officials estimate voting could take another 45 minutes.

Officials cannot say yet whether turnout is record-breaking, but New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner has been predicting a record overall turnout on Tuesday, fueled mainly by a surge in Republican ballots cast.

He told ABC News that he projected a record-breaking 282,000 voter turnout in the Republican race – and a record-breaking 550,000 voters overall. This evening, the Secretary of State’s office wasn’t ready to say if turnout would meet that projection, but Deputy Secretary of State Dave Scanlon told ABC News, “we do have a shot” of it being a record breaker.

Officials have not made a decision yet about whether to keep polls open in Merrimack, but they are monitoring the situation and know there are long lines there.

“The Attorney General has a person on site monitoring that,” Scanlon said. “And we’ll be discussing what the options are in terms of the polls closing there.... There’s no decision yet.”

“Turnout has been strong and steady and it seems to have picked up considerably in the dinner hour,” he added.

Interest in the presidential election cycle has peaked this year, in part because of the success of outsider candidates like Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders, who are leading in recent polling in the Granite State.

ABC News’ Brad Mielke contributed reporting from Manchester, New Hampshire.

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