Election polls are opening in the United States and Democratic Party candidate for President John Kerry is wrapping up his marathon campaign for the White House and his effort to defeat Republican President George Bush. Election eve surveys show the race is virtually tied, providing an extraordinary drama to the contest for the nation's highest office.
Senator Kerry arrived early Tuesday morning in Wisconsin, a northern Midwestern state that public opinion surveys show is almost evenly divided between Mr. Kerry and President Bush. Aides say the senator ended his campaign here because Wisconsin is one of a handful of states that allows people to register to vote on Election Day.
Mr. Kerry is planning at least one campaign event where he is expected to urge those new voters to cast their ballot for the Democratic Party.
At rallies on the eve of the election Mr. Kerry told supporters the future of America is now in their hands.
"This is a solemn and unique moment when the American people get to decide. Take away all the clutter; take away the labels, Democrat, Republican, Independent. Think common sense, think future, this is about the character of our country," said Senator Kerry. "This is your chance to hold George Bush accountable for the last four years."
After leaving Wisconsin, Senator Kerry is scheduled to fly to his hometown of Boston, Massachusetts where he is expected to vote Tuesday afternoon. He is planning to have lunch at the historic Union Oyster House in Boston, an Election Day tradition for Mr. Kerry.
Aides say he will spend much of the afternoon granting satellite interviews to television stations in states where polls show the election is still extremely close in a last-ditch effort to convince voters before the polls close.
The Democratic nominee and his vice presidential running mate, Senator John Edwards, will then watch the election returns Tuesday evening.
A large party is planned for Copley Square in downtown Boston election night providing what Senator Kerry hopes will be the backdrop for a major victory celebration.