[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/05/art.voters.chicago.gi.jpg caption=" Voters waiting to cast their ballots in Chicago."]
(CNN) - Americans hit the polls Tuesday in numbers that officials across the country believed would shatter election turnout records.
Although more than 24.4 million people had already cast early or absentee ballots by Monday, the continued high volume of voters had people across the United States braving long lines.
"People were there in the rain, in the cold, with their children. People close to the 100-year-mark, with their walkers and their chairs," said Elmira N. Luckey, a mental health counselor who voted in Richmond, Virginia.
Luckey said she heard some people in the line complain about the rain, but added all those complaints were followed up with "But I'm here, and I'm gonna stay here."