KWAME HOLMAN: The final day of the presidential campaign began early this morning for both of the major candidates. Sen. Kerry started it with a rally in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
SEN. JOHN KERRY: It's that magic moment when the greatest democracy on the face of the planet gets to show the world how we work.
And look at you, all of you out there. Out there in the morning, back here today, ready to go. Going to get your neighbors out there to vote. And together, we're going to change the direction of this country. We're going to put common sense and truth back into the decisions of this nation.
KWAME HOLMAN: The president, Mrs. Bush, and their daughters started the day as the polls opened in Crawford, Texas. After he voted, Mr. Bush spoke to reporters.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: This election is in the hands of the people, and I feel very comfortable about that. People know where I stand. I've enjoyed this campaign. It's been a fantastic experience, traveling our country, talking about what I believe and where I'm going to lead this country for four more years.
And you know, there's just something refreshing about giving it your all, and then saying, "the people will make the right decision." And I believe I'm going to win.
KWAME HOLMAN: The president also talked about his opponent.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I wish him all the best. And he's... you know, he and I are in the exact same position. We've given it our all. And I'm sure he's happy, like I am, that the campaign has come to a conclusion. All I can tell you is I know that I've put my full amount of energy into this campaign, and I've enjoyed it, and I'm enthused and have been uplifted by the spirit of our supporters and by the prayers of our supporters.
WOMAN: We have worked so hard for you guys. Thanks so much.
KWAME HOLMAN: Meanwhile, the vice presidential candidates also spent part of the final day campaigning. John Edwards shook hands with some of those waiting in long lines at a polling station in Tampa, Florida.
And vice president and Mrs. Cheney voted in Wilson, Wyoming, before heading for a rally in Wisconsin, then on to Washington, D.C. By midday, President Bush was making one last campaign pitch in Columbus, Ohio.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I am going to run this race out to its fullest. I will be able to... both of us will be able to say that we campaigned as hard as we possibly could. I have made the differences as clear as possible about why I think I am the best leader for the country for the next four years. And you know, we'll find out tonight what the American people think, and I'm looking forward to it.
KWAME HOLMAN: And by this afternoon, Sen. Kerry had traveled to Boston to cast his ballot. He stopped to talk to reporters afterward.
SEN. JOHN KERRY: The American people have opened their homes, their hearts to us, all of us. They brought us in, shared their struggles. And now the campaign comes to an end, and the American people are going to decide.
I'm very confident that we've made the case for change, the case for trust in new leadership, a new direction, a fresh start. But what's really important is that both the president and I love this country. It's really important that people go out and vote and express their love for our country. No matter who they vote for, we want people to participate.
And finally, let me just say that whatever the outcome tonight, I know one thing that is already an outcome. Our country will be stronger, our country will be united, and we will move forward no matter what, because that's who we are as Americans and that's what we need to do.
KWAME HOLMAN: The senator was asked what he'll do if he wins.
SEN. JOHN KERRY: I'm not going into anything beyond working till 8:00 tonight. I'm still asking Americans for their votes. I never leave any stone unturned. People who know me know I focus. This is the strong close and that's what I'm doing.
KWAME HOLMAN: Sen. Kerry had his traditional Election-Day lunch at Boston's Union Oyster House, America's oldest restaurant. Tonight, the Kerry campaign will be headquartered at Boston's Copley Square. Sen. Kerry will watch returns privately with his family, before joining John Edwards at a rally later tonight.
President Bush arrived in Washington this afternoon. He and his family will watch the vote tally from the White House before joining supporters at the Ronald Reagan federal building downtown.