November 8, 2016 12:53 PM EST

Our long national nightmare is (nearly) over. Polls are open across the country, so do your thing, America. Polls start closing at 6 p.m., depending on your state or local jurisdiction, so be sure to give yourself enough time. If there is a line, stay in line—you can vote as long as you are in line by the time the polls close.

By late tonight, America will have selected its 45th president—and whether it is Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton it will be a dramatic re-envisioning of the role. It is either a vote for radical change or for breaking the glass ceiling. A mad dash to swing states ending in the wee hours of Tuesday morning marked the close of more than two years of political scrambling. After voting, both candidates are spending the day making final get-out-the-vote pitches to voters on television and radio. For several hours Tuesday evening they will be just one block apart in midtown Manhattan as they await results before attending their watch parties.

Here’s how to watch tonight: States will begin to be called once all the polls have closed in a state. The president-elect will not be named until s/he reaches 270 called Electoral Votes. But some of the early state results will provide an indication of the ultimate outcome. If New Hampshire (7 p.m. close time) or North Carolina (7:30 p.m. close time) are able to be called swiftly, it may well be an early and good night for Hillary Clinton. If they remain too close to call, or if Trump wins them, it will bolster Trump’s chances and increase the likelihood that we need to wait for Western states to make a call.

We’ll have running coverage on all day to mark the conclusion of this historic election. There are 72 days until Inauguration Day.

Here are your must reads:

Must Reads

Welcome to the Final Hours of the 2016 Election
A bitter election comes to a close [TIME]

How to Follow the Results on Election Day
Don’t read too much into the early returns [TIME]

Why Janet Reno Mattered
No one ever got the attorney general to do or say anything that she didn’t want to do or say [TIME]

‘Fired Up’ Obama Makes Final Push for Clinton, and His Legacy
The campaigner-in-chief makes his final swing [New York Times]

Giving It All for Hillary and Donald
The staffers who endured separations, missed honeymoons and even withstood cancer treatments are the hidden humanity of 2016. [Politico]

Sound Off

“Today is our Independence Day. Today the American working class is going to strike back, finally.” — Donald Trump at an early morning rally in Michigan

“Tomorrow we face the test of our time. What will we vote for—not just against? Every issue you care about is at stake.” — Hillary Clinton at an early morning rally in North Carolina

Bits and Bites

This Is What It Looks Like to Win the Presidential Election [TIME]

The Troubling Reason the Electoral College Exists [TIME]

Jon Bon Jovi Joins Hillary Clinton for a ‘Mannequin Challenge’ [TIME]

‘I Voted From Space’: Lone American Casts Ballot [Associated Press]

The Future of the Death Penalty Will Be Decided in These 3 States [TIME]

President Obama Mocks Donald Trump for Not Being Allowed to Tweet [TIME]

What Happens If Faithless Electors Swing the Results? [TIME]

Watch Hillary Clinton’s Final Campaign Ad [TIME]

Huma Abedin back by Clinton’s side [Politico]

With Biden and Kaine, a passing of the torch [LA Times]

More Must-Reads From TIME

Contact us at

You May Also Like