Update 4:36 p.m.:
Chesterfield Patch spent this morning at the polls, talking with voters about the issues that are important to them and how they influenced their decisions.
I've put together some highlights from the experience with five short profiles of voters representing different political views, age groups and perspectives. Here's an example from a first-time voter:
The 2012 election was the first 18-year-old Will Edgar had participated in and he found himself struggling with which candidate to chose. True to teenager form, he said he put off his decision until the final day.
The issue that tilted him toward Mitt Romney concerns Edgar's choice of future career: underwater welding.
"I'm going to school to be an underwater welder and Mitt's all for starting all sorts of drilling, particularly off the East Coast," he said, adding that Obama has sought to restrict it. So, when did he decide? "When I woke up this morning."
Edgar also said that he's fiscally fairly conservative and doesn't like to see the government handing out checks to those he feels don't deserve it.
However, he explained that kids of his generation often don't fall into neatly divided party lines. He agreed that many of his friends could be described as fiscally conservative but socially liberal.
"I feel like a lot of my friends believe that if it comes down to being moral, it should be left up to the individual," he said.
RELATED: Voter Profiles: Five Views From Chesterfield Voters
Update 2:37 p.m.:
A proclamation featuring Todd Akin's name was found just a few feet from the line of Chesterfield residents waiting to vote at city hall this morning.
The framed document appears to be several years old and not related to any election campaign. It's part of a glass display in the lobby of Chesterfield City Hall that bears other awards and announcements.
A sharp-eyed voter pointed it's location out to Chesterfield Patch, concerned that it might be violating laws that prohibit electioneering withing 25 feet of a polling place.
RELATED: Todd Akin Document at City Hall Prompts Electioneering Concerns
Update 1:31 p.m.:
Poll workers and Patch readers are reporting steady turnout and sometimes long waits to vote across different precints this morning.
Late morning saw a packed house at Chesterfield Community Church, where Patch Regional Editor Kurt Greenbaum tweeted that the line was out the door with waits of up to 30 minutes.
The situation was similar at Chesterfield City Hall, where voters formed separate lines for paper or electronic ballots. Many reported waiting between 30-40 minutes to cast their vote, although precinct superviosr Kevin Gracey said the line for paper ballots was moving more quickly.
Polling places also reported an early morning rush from 6-7 a.m. with an expectation that it would pick up again as people got off work at 5 p.m. At around 8:30 a.m. this morning, lines were nearly non-existent at Riverbend Elementary with voting only taking a few minutes.
Veteran Republican poll worker Don Dosser was the lone electioneer stationed against the school and said it had been choatic at first with voters and students arriving all at once. Now, however, he noted that things were unusual calm.
"There are usually four or five poll workers for each side out here," said Dosser, who has been manning polling places since 1968.
Poll supervisors at Riverbend and Chesterfield City Hall each said the first half of their day had been busy and that they were expecting high turnout.
Welcome to your 2012 election headquarters for Chesterfield with results, news and up-to-the-minute information for every important local and national race.
Polls will open at 6 a.m. tomorrow across Missouri and Patch will be there, visiting area polling places, talking to voters and checking to see if there's anything amiss at the polls. Here in Chesterfield, editors will be meeting up with many of the candidates on the ballot to get their last-minute impressions of things.
But the most important part of this story is YOU. All day on Nov. 6, we want to know: What were lines like at your polling place? What number were you in line? What kind of activity was there outside? What was important in determining your vote? Does your family have a fun election day ritual, or a unique story of a first-time or long-time voter? Let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the evening, we'll be at various campaign watch parties as the results come in and the reaction flows in. Check back with Chesterfield Patch for constant updates as they become available.
You'll have plenty of opportunities to comment on Patch stories. You can load your election day photo in our Pics & Clips Gallery. Tweet us a photo or thoughts @ChesterfldPatch or talk to us onFacebook/ChesterfieldPatch. You can also follow us on Instagram, at Chesterfield_Patch.
You may be just as excited to see this whole process finally come to an end as you are interested in who wins. Either way, we hope Patch is the place where you come to experience it all.
Preparing to vote
Need to find your polling place? Check out this polling place locator courtesy of the Secretary of State's website.
Confused about all the ballot initiatives? Read our handy crash course on the statewide propositions.
What kind of ID do you need to present at the polls? Registered voters need to present one type of identification from this list:
- ID issued by the federal government, state of Missouri or a local election authority. This could include a drivers' license or passport.
- ID issued by a Missouri public or private institution of higher education, including a university, college, vocational or technical school.
- A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document that contains the name and address of the voter.
- Driver's license or state identification card issued by another state.
Even if you do not have one of these types of identification, you may still cast a ballot if two supervising election judges—one from each major political party—attest they know you.
We'll be monitoring national and statewide races—including the presidential election—in a separate article, which you can find here.
Here, Patch will focus on the races and issues directly affecting Chesterfield residents. For more, check out our Chesterfield's Patch Election Guide..
Links for the race stories will go live at 6 a.m. Tuesday. As polls close, each story (including this one in the table above) will be constantly updated to reflect the latest voting numbers.