UpdateTarrant County Elections Administrator Steve Raborn said voting appeared to have gone smoothly at local polling sites.Some locations have been busier than others, and election officials have had to deliver extra supplies -- statement of residence cards, provisional ballots -- to some locations.And one voting site -- Trinity Terrace on Texas Street -- opened a little late this morning, simply due to new election workers being a little unprepared.Some complaints have been phoned into the elections office, but "we haven't really had anything out of the ordinary," Raborn said.ORIGINAL REPORT STARTS HEREThe campaigning comes to an end today.Candidates throughout Texas and across Tarrant County made 11th-hour appeals to voters on Monday - making phone calls, knocking on doors and more.Today, Texans and voters nationwide head to the polls to once-and-for-all make their final choices."I bet we'll have some surprises," said Tom Marshall, a political science professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. "There's a lot of stuff in the air ... and some races are pretty close."The turnout is likely to be high, but unlikely to set a new record in Texas.Local turnout could hit between 60 and 65 percent, although it isn't expected to reach or exceed historic levels set in 2008, said Steve Raborn, elections administrator for Tarrant County."But we think some of our people are waiting until Election Day," he said.This year, 387,338 Tarrant County voters cast early ballots in person and 32,178 so far mailed in ballots, overall less than the 431,799 locals who voted early in person and 29,798 who mailed in ballots four years ago.Statewide, more than 150,000 fewer Texans voted early this year - 3.4 million voters, compared with 3.5 million four years ago, according to Texas Secretary of State records."I want to thank the millions of Texans who took advantage of early voting to cast their ballots in this important election and remind those who did not that Election Day is [today]," said Secretary of State Hope Andrade. "Voting is your chance to make your mark on Texas by helping choose the leaders who will create the laws and policies that govern our communities, our state and our nation in the months and years to come."Weather isn't supposed to get in the way of local voters heading to the polls today. The forecast calls for sunny skies and temperatures that begin in the mid-40s and should warm up to around 70 degrees, said Jesse Moore, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.As polls indicate the presidential race remains very close, Obama and Romney made last-minute appeals Monday to voters across the country, trying to shore up desperately needed support in key areas.Back at home, there are hot races on the ballot, too, none more fiery than the battle for Senate District 10 where Democratic incumbent Wendy Davis faces a challenge from Republican state Rep. Mark Shelton, both of Fort Worth.Also on the Texas ballot is the race to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison in the U.S. Senate -- a battle between Republican Ted Cruz, Democrat Paul Sadler, Libertarian John Jay Myers and Green Party candidate David B. Collins -- as well as a number of congressional and legislative races, statewide races, judicial races, State Board of Education races and local races ranging from sheriff to county commissioner.Voting concernsThere have been some complaints about electronic machines not properly recording straight-party votes, particularly that when some people tried to vote straight party, the presidential choice was blank when they were about to submit their ballot.Raborn has talked about this, and posted information on the "rumors" section of the county election website."If people vote straight party, it will include their presidential choice," he said. "If they try to vote for that presidential candidate again, as an emphasis vote, they will remove the vote from that person. That may be what happened with some people."If you're going to use the electronic equipment, review the summary screen and make sure every person is marked as you intended before you cast your ballot."Most local voters today will make their picks on paper ballots, although there should be one eSlate voting machine at each polling site, Raborn said.'It's over'No matter who wins or loses, the robocalls, commercials, mailers and the door-walkers stop tonight."Everyone I know is ready for this to be over," said Jim Riddlesperger, a political science professor at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. "On one hand, we've been immune [in Texas] to what they've gotten in the swing states. But everyone is tired of it."It's dominating the news, Internet, commentaries, comedy shows," he said. "Regardless of who wins, at least it's over."Anna M. Tinsley, 817-390-7610Twitter: @annatinsley
Election Day Tips
Take your voter registration card. If you can't find it, election officials can use your driver's license, a photo ID, a birth certificate, a U.S. passport, citizenship papers, even a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement or paycheck, to look up your voter ID number.
Be patient if there's a line.
Make sure you go to the correct polling place. Many sites have changed.
Don't talk on cell phones or take pictures while voting.
Don't wear campaign t-shirts, buttons, hats or other paraphernalia. Voting booths have a 100-foot campaign-free zone around them and those materials - along with campaign signs - are not allowed in that area. Anyone wearing those items will be asked to remove or cover them up.
Republican candidates are listed first in each race on the ballot because the order of candidates, by party affiliation, is determined by how many votes each party's gubernatorial candidate received in the most recent election. GOP Gov. Rick Perry won in 2010, so Republican candidates are listed first.
For more information on voting or procedures, or to report any concerns of voter abuse, contact the Texas Secretary of State's office at 800-252-8683 or the Tarrant County Elections Department at 817-831-8683. Or go online to www.tarrantcounty.com/elections; www.votexas.org; www.sos.state.tx.us
Local Democrats will gather for the most part at the downtown Hilton Hotel on Main Street; local Republicans for the most part will be at the Hurst Conference Center.