| GEO World|
| Historic vote underway across America|
| Updated at: 0401 PST, Wednesday, November 05, 2008|
FLORIDA: All over the country, a record number of Americans are standing in lines today to vote for history as Democrat Barack Obama bids to become the first African American president and Republican John McCain attempts one more comeback in a career filled with them.
Obama, 47, voted early in his Chicago precinct, arriving with his wife, Michelle, and their two daughters soon after the polls opened. The Obamas filled out their ballots in adjoining booths, with daughters Malia and Sasha standing between them and sometimes yawning.
For almost everyone else, Election Day 2008 was anything but a yawn.
The Arizona senator left the polling place wearing a sticker on his right lapel that read, "I voted today."
McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, stopped by a coffee shop in her hometown of Wasilla on her way to the polls. For TV cameras, she held up the local newspaper with a headline saying "Board Exonerates Palin," a reference to a state board's decision that Palin committed no ethical violation in firing the commissioner of state troopers. "Nice headline," said Palin, who if elected would become the first female vice president in U.S. history.
"It was exciting," she said after voting at Wasilla City Hall. She said she was glad to be home. "Forever I'm going to be Sarah from Alaska," she said, adding that being a local mayor is a "great training ground" for higher office, as it is the "most responsive" of any elected office.
Obama, asked if he was feeling sentimental after an improbable two-year campaign that upset political expectations and overcame front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, said, "You know, I'm sure I will tonight -- that's when polls close. The journey ends, but voting with my daughters, that was a big deal." Obama quipped that he noticed that his wife "took a long time, though. I had to check to see who she was voting for."
Both candidates broke with tradition and campaigned on Election Day. Obama, ahead in national polls, made what his campaign called a "casual" stop in Indiana today and plans a massive outdoor rally tonight in front of the skyline of his hometown of Chicago.
Obama stopped in at the UAW Local 550 Union Hall in Indianapolis, converted for the day into an Obama call center. In the traditionally Republican state, volunteers were vying for Obama's attention. The calls soon started, with Obama taking some himself. He told a voter named Pam, "We just think right now what this country needs is some change, especially on the economy." He talked to another voter about his plan to make college more affordable. He asked a voter named Richard to "make sure to get everyone out."
McCain, who endured a seven-stop campaign odyssey Monday that saw him log more than 3,400 miles in the air, campaigned today in Colorado and New Mexico before going to Phoenix for his election night party at the Biltmore Hotel.
"We're going to work hard until the polls close," McCain told CBS News.
At rally in Grand Junction, Colo., McCain urged voters to ignore the pundits and the polls and turn out for him. "America is worth fighting for. Nothing is inevitable here," he said at his last rally.
Claiming that internal polls show the race here and in other Western states tightening in recent days, McCain broke with his usual Election Day tradition -- going to the movies -- to hunt for more votes, stopping in New Mexico as well as Colorado before returning to his home base of Arizona.
"I feel the momentum," he told several thousand supporters in Colorado. "I feel it, you feel it, and we're going to win the election."
With record turnout predicted, election officials braced for voting problems. Early in the day there were reports of malfunctioning voting machines in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio and lost ballots at precincts in Florida's capital, Tallahassee. In Philadelphia, the McCain camp charged that Republican voters were being intimidated at the polls.