With all stages being set up and lights ready to shine, the Grant Park in Chicago is waiting for the final moment of the U.S. presidential elections when Illinois Democratic Senator Barack Obama's bid for the White House is determined on.
In hours, the party is to witness Obama's grand election night rally with tens of thousands of participants, either to celebrate for his success to become the first African American president in the country or mourn on the loss of his year-long presidential campaign to his Republican rival John McCain.
Before 7 p.m., Chicagoan voters can still enter the polling stations across the city, including some in public parks and some in condominium lobbies, and cast their ballots.
Long queues were seen in some polling stations in early hours after they were open at 6 a.m. as many voters hope they could get it done before going to work. The rush hours also came around lunchtime and after work time.
By marking the candidates'names on the ballots, voters were trying to make their concerns about the country's current situation and future prospects heard.
"It is time for the country to change," said Frank Bogatitus, a voter from a precinct at the south of Chicago. "We need to end wars as one of the main things, and start concerning ourselves and what is happening at home."
He said that he voted for Obama after he compared two candidates' policies and found McCain was just following Bush's steps.
Jay Camp, on the contrary, believed that McCain is the better one to take leadership and Obama lacks experience to be in the position of American president.
"John McCain has integrity who loves his country, which has been proven time and time again," he said. "He has experience we need to navigate through the current tough economic time and really protect Americans."
For Lylai Dean, a female voter from downtown Chicago, the choice of the next president was really a last-minute result.
"I took almost the whole campaign period to make up my mind that always ran back and fro," she said. "The most concern I have is that the Democratic Party rules in the White House and has majority at both of Congress floors if Obama is elected."
Obama started his community service and political career in Chicago where his family is resided.
Early state polls showed that he has unchallenged lead in the state, but unless he could also win key battlegrounds like Ohio, Florida and Virginia, his success is not secured.
(Xinhua News Agency November 5, 2008)