Factbox: Quotes from the 2012 U.S. presidential election

WASHINGTON Tue Nov 6, 2012 9:01pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans went to the polls to vote for their next president on Tuesday after a tightly contested race between incumbent Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney.

Below are some comments made by the candidates and voters:

OBAMA, speaking to WJLA TV in Washington:

"We've laid out the choice very clearly for the American people, and now the question is going to be people showing up to the polls... I want to make sure people show up to vote and if you do - whatever the outcome, that's how our democracy works. And I think we'll all come together to move America forward."

ROMNEY, speaking to the press in Cleveland, Ohio:

"This is a great day with great opportunity, but I'm also looking forward to tomorrow, because tomorrow we're going to start the work."

ART AMMERMULLER, health insurance broker, voting for Obama in New Jersey:

"You are not voting for the individual any more, you're voting for the tribe. The Republican guy may be brilliant but he will follow the dictates of the tribe. I don't agree with the tribe's policies."

MELANIE KATSUR, attorney and Romney supporter in Washington, D.C.:

"I think that the rate with which the deficits have grown is not acceptable. I am fortunate enough to have a job, but I know a lot of people who don't."

LYDA SWOGGER, first-time voter supporting Obama in Ohio:

"Obama stands for most of the same things I do. He inherited a mess and he needs more time to fix it."

PAUL DIRKS, retired mathematics professor and Obama supporter in Coral Gables, Florida on ad barrage:

"It's been the ugliest campaign I've ever seen in my life and I'm 71 years old ... I felt like throwing stones at my TV."

NOREEN TAYLOR, Democrat voting in Nevada:

"Elections used to be about stuff, about issues and specifics. We used to have statesmen. Now we just have salesmen."

(Reporting by Reuters reporters around the country; Compiled by Alina Selyukh)

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