Americans finally get the chance to cast their ballots

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Election Day 2008 is under way, with long lines reported as polls opened in the swing states of Ohio and Virginia.

A Democratic presidential candidate hasn't won Virginia in 44 years.

Voting is also underway in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Kentucky and Vermont.

Ahmed Bowling was among the voters lining up early at his polling place in Alexandria, Virginia. He said today "will mark a significant change in the lives of all Americans."

Officials in most states predict there will be a record turnout to vote for president, as well as decide a number of key senate and congressional races, and such thorny ballot questions as banning gay marriage and abortion.

Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz expects voter turnout to be as high as 90 percent, while officials in other states predict between 70 and 80 percent.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)