Washington: One of the world`s largest electoral exercises in the world after India, the world`s largest democracy, gets underway Tuesday when 169 million American voters go to the polls to chose a president, a new House of Representatives, 33 senators and thousands of local officials at a whopping cost of $6 billion.
. There are169 million registered voters, 86 million Democrat and 55 million Republican and 28 million others.
. They include about a half million voters from the 3.12 million strong Indian American community.
. Besides the president, the voters would be choosing 435 members of the House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 senators, one third of whom retire every two years.
. Democrats are defending 23 of the 33 seats up for grabs in the Senate where they currently have a majority of 53, including two independents who caucus with them.
. Five Indian-Americans, four Democrats and one Republican, are seeking election to the US Congress.
. A young Democrat woman from Hawaii is considered a shoo-in to become the first Hindu-American woman in the Congress.
. Eleven governorships are also up for grabs besides thousands of state and local officials.
. Voters will also tackle more than 1,000 local ballot issues Tuesday.
. These include right-to die in Massachusetts, gay marriage in Maine, abortion in Florida and Montana, death penalty in California and segregation in Alabama.
. There are currently 29 Republicans, 20 Democrats, and 1 Independent holding the office of governor in the states.
. There are 27 Republican-controlled and 15 Democratic-controlled legislatures besides 7 split legislatures and one officially non-partisan (Nebraska).
. More than 45 million US voters, or one out of every four who go to the polls, will cast a ballot on a machine that stores votes electronically, but doesn`t create a paper ballot, according to Verified Voting.
First of the Polls close at 7 p.m. (5:30 a.m. Wednesday India time) in six states including the battle ground state of Virginia (13 electoral votes) followed by all-important Ohio (18 electoral votes) half an hour later.
. The last of the polls close in Alaska at 1 a.m. Wednesday (11:30 a.m. Wednesday India time).