On a chilly Vermont morning, a voter fills out a ballot at a table near the old wood stove at Calais Town Hall. In Chicago, a woman votes at the Su Nueva Laundromat, surrounded by industrial washers and dryers. In Elizaville, Ky., a few people arrive early at a general store built in 1821 to cast some of the day’s first ballots.
Americans who show up at the polls on Election Day all have something in common — they’re filling in bubbles, punching holes and touching screens to choose who will represent them in government for the coming years. But the scenery and the imagery vary widely, together painting a portrait of a nation that’s diverse in its population, its geography and its culture.
Here’s a selection of AP photos offering a taste of what voting looks like around the U.S., from an elementary school gym in Montana to a makeshift shelter in coastal New Jersey.
With members of the New Jersey National Guard seen through a window as they congregate outside of Hoboken City Hall, specialists Abdul Scott, bottom right, of Elizabeth, N.J., and Cullin King, of Hillside, N.J., fill out affidavits as they cast their vote on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Hoboken, N.J. The servicemen are performing duties in the city, which was hit by severe flooding caused by Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Voters leave the Old Blanco Courthouse after casting their ballots, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Blanco, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Nancy Tassey casts her ballot next to the wood stove on Election Day at the Town Hall, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 in Calais, Vt. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
After voting, Mike Weigart, 30, carries his ballot and his surfboard to the ballot box at the polling place at the Venice Beach lifeguard headquarters in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Weigart said “It’s awesome the polling place is where I surf.” (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Under the lights of a generator, voters wait in line outside of a tent serving as a polling site in the Midland Beach section of Staten Island, New York, on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. The original polling site, a school, was damaged by Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
People sign in to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 at the Elizaville precinct in Elizaville, Ky. The precinct is located in a general store built in 1821 and has 524 registered voters. (AP Photo/John Flavell)
Rocky Erickson casts a ballot at a polling place on Election Day in Billings, Mont., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Leslie Fabian concentrates as she votes electronically inside at the 24-hour Su Nueva Laundromat in Chicago’s 13th Ward, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)