It's finally here. After a long and contentious campaign season, Election Day 2016 is upon us at last, with the only question left to answer being:
Where Do I Vote?
As more and more voters are preparing to cast ballots this year than ever before, it's no surprise that many are first-timers with questions.
Such as? Where to even begin ...
Voting hours, polling locations or the candidates and issues on your ballot all can raise complicated issues under the right circumstances.
With 50 different states, we have 50 sets of election laws cobbled together, making things a bit more confusing than they might otherwise be.
In most cases, it's pretty straightforward, but every vote counts, and every situation is different, so it pays to be as prepared as possible.
Fortunately, a number of helpful tools are at your disposal as you go forth and carry out your civic duty on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.
Chief among them?
The Voting Info Project, a tool created by The Pew Charitable Trusts in partnership with Google, which can help zero in on the answers.
The program, which does not require users to submit any information that might personally identify you, uses your location/state data.
From there, it should be smooth sailing.
In order to find your polling place and much more, you can also visit Google's homepage and click a button on the bottom right corner.
The Google Doodle takes you to the same result, as does the tried and true search bar, if you want to ask the search engine for help.
Ask and ye shall receive ... local polling hours. For the senior crowd, using "The Google" this way may be your best, simplest option.
Just kidding! (Sort of!)
Once you identify the voting location in your neighborhood, and the hours of operation, make a plan for how you're going to get there.
In most states, polls are open early morning through early evening, so you should have plenty of time to make necessary arrangements.
It's also worth noting that you should be prepared to bring whatever you need in order to vote, as some U.S. states require identification.
Oh, and if you've already voted ... disregard!
In the past few weeks, tens of millions of people have already voted, through early voting and absentee ballots, across this great nation.
Not every state allows this, but in many of those that do, the number of early voters is higher than at the same point in the 2012 cycle.
Will this help us predict the election results?
In Texas, for example, the number of early voters is sharply higher than in the prior election, while North Carolina and Florida are also up.
Those latter two states are crucial, as they are both "swing" areas targeted heavily by both campaigns, with U.S. Senate races as well.
So who will be the next president?
Right now, that's too close to call, but regardless, expect a long night of vote tallying, and we hope that whomever you support, you vote.
Above all else, please do that.
From coast to coast, there's so much more at stake on a local and state level than just the bitter Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton contest, too.
So get out and do your thing. There's no greater source of pride than casting a ballot, no matter where you are on the political spectrum.
Donald, Hillary or... Gary? Who has your vote to be the next President of the United States? View Poll »