POLITICS

Early figures show fewer Americans cast votes in 2012 race than in 2008

11/07/2012 06:09 EST | Updated 01/07/2013 05:12 EST
WASHINGTON - A drop in voter turnout in Tuesday's election didn't keep President Barack Obama from winning a second term in the White House.

Preliminary figures suggest fewer people voted this year than four years ago, when voters shattered turnout records as they elected Obama to his first term.

In most states, the numbers are shaping up to be even lower than in 2004, said Curtis Gans, the director of American University's Center for the Study of the American Electorate. Still, the full picture may not be known for weeks, because much of the counting takes place after Election Day.

With 95 per cent of precincts reporting, The Associated Press figures showed more than 117 million people had voted in the White House race. In 2008, 131 million people voted.