Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama kept campaigning right through Election Day, although scenes from crowded polling places today indicated that voters did not need any last-minute encouragement.
Across the country voters are turning out in what could be historic numbers, in some cases spending hours in serpentine lines waiting for a chance to vote.
In an indication of how intensely fought this campaign has been, both candidates kept holding large rallies and television interviews even as voters swarmed to their polling sites. In the past, presidential candidates have halted their campaigns on Election Day.
McCain voted early in Phoenix before heading off for some last-minute get-out-the-vote efforts in New Mexico and Colorado, two states where the GOP presidential pick is trailing but hopes to pull out narrow victories.
"I promise you if I'm elected president, I will never let you down," an energized McCain told a crowd in Colorado.
"I think we ought to hear one more time 'drill, baby drill,'" he cheerfully suggested and the crowd obliged with the campaign's chant.
In the battleground state of Pennsylvania, where McCain is trailing, the Republican National Convention placed robocalls using quotes from Sen. Hillary Clinton criticizing Obama. The GOP in Pennsylvania is running ads reminding voters of Obama's relationship with his former controversial minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
After voting at a Chicago school, Obama spent the morning campaigning in Indiana before returning to Chicago to conduct television interviews broadcast via satellite to the swing states of Florida, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, Nevada and Missouri.
Lines at polling stations around the country indicate the election could result in record turnout numbers.
Kim Wooten, 44, waited in line for 75 minutes to vote at a fire station in Rosslyn, Va., and said she would cast her vote for Obama.
"I'm ready for a change," she said. "To be honest, I wasn't really energized about either candidate, but I'm voting Democratic this time."
Wooten was one of thousands voting in Virginia, long considered a Republican stronghold but which has been leaning toward Obama in the polls.
Polls in the state close at 7 p.m. ET, one of the earliest closing times in the country, and could, according to Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden indicate the direction of results throughout the night.
"The polls are going to close and by 9 ET -- you will have Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, by that time. ... You're going to know whether you're going to be up a long, ... long night or if it's going to be a short night," Biden said.
Obama, who could become the nation's first black president, voted with his two young daughters in Chicago before he plunged into a final round of campaigning in Indiana.
"I voted," the Democratic presidential candidate said, holding up the validation slip he was given after turning in a ballot at the Shoesmith School in his Chicago neighborhood.
Obama voted at the same polling station as William Ayers, the former 1960s radical who became a flashpoint in the campaign when the McCain campaign accused Obama of "palling around" with terrorists.
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan also voted at that site. Farrakhan became a GOP target after he endorsed Obama.
In Delaware, Biden, Obama's running mate, went to the polls with his mother before getting on a plane to meet up with Obama in Chicago.