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Nixons observe their Election Day traditions

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Gov. Jay Nixon and first lady Georganne Nixon sign in as they prepare to cast their ballots Tuesday morning, Nov. 6, 2012, at their precinct at Miller Performing Arts Center in Jefferson City, Mo. At right, poll worker Melody Hoag jokingly asked the governor if he'd recently moved as she helped them sign in. (AP Photo/Jefferson City News-Tribune, Julie Smith)

After weeks and months of campaigning, Election Day is when all the work either falls in place or falls apart.

Gov. Jay Nixon and his wife, Georganne, cast their ballots shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday, and ended their day with a watch party in St. Louis.

But, what about that 10 hours or so in between, with no campaign events planned?

The governor told reporters the couple was doing what they’ve done for a number of years: “We’ll go down to my mom’s grave in Versailles and spend some quiet contemplation there.

“And at Georganne’s parents’ (graves in Jefferson City’s Riverview Cemetery) also — as we think back on the history of our families.”

On the campaign trail and in other public appearances, Nixon often quips that he learned about public service as a youngster growing up in DeSoto, answering the telephone to determine whether it was a call for the town’s mayor (his father) or for the school board member (his mother).

There have been fewer mentions of Mrs. Nixon’s childhood in Jefferson City, as the daughter of Hubert Wheeler, Missouri’s first commissioner of education, who served from 1946-71.

The Nixons also said they planned to meet with their two sons before going to St. Louis, and with the governor’s father, before Tuesday night’s election watch party.

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