Voter turnout was high in many parts of the country, including in the battleground states where campaigns invested heavily in the fight for votes.
In Virginia and many other swing states, people stood in long lines, some waiting for several hours to cast their ballot.
The long waits is one indication of how important this election is to many voters, including those who believe America is at a crossroads.
"You're more responsible just because there's only about 10 states that are going to determine the election, so in a battleground you really need to vote," one Virginia voter said.
"They give a lot of attention to Virginia. I heard someone say that Virginia was kind of like a purple state," another Virginia voter said. "They're expecting that it could go either way. I'm excited about it."
Some election officials say once all the numbers are in, they expect turnout to meet or exceed the 2008 presidential election. Long lines also have been reported from Nebraska to South Carolina, from Michigan to Florida.
"Kids got to go to school. Mommy's got to go to work -- got to get here early, got to vote," one Florida voter said.
Even in several storm-ravaged areas of New York and New Jersey, voter turnout was heavy. Many voters expressed relief and elation at being able to vote at all, considering the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy.
"I came to vote. This is all I could say at the moment because it's very emotional," one New Yorker said.
The long lines represent only part of the voting population. More than 32 million people voted before Election Day this year, either by mail or in person.