(CN) - At long last, it's here. Election Day, 2016, and with it the end of the longest, nastiest and most expensive presidential campaign in history.
According to the United States Election Project, 46.2 million people have already cast their ballots in early voting.
Preliminary reports on the East Coast, where polls opened at 7 a.m., is that in-person voting was going smoothly, with those turning out at the polls encountering waits of about 30 minutes. However, there was a disturbence at a midtown Manhattan polling place, where two topless women staged a protest against Republican Donald Trump.
The women were arrested and taken to New York's 17th precinct where they were issued summonses for electioneering.
Trump voted at the very same polling place about an hour later and when asked how he felt said, "everything is great."
Before setting out to the polls, Trump made a last round of calls to television and radio stations, starting with the "Fox and Friends" show on Fox News. During that appearance he said he believes the campaign "changed" him because it made him more aware of other people's thwarted aspirations.
"I see so many hopes and so many dreams out there that didn't happen, that could have happened, with leadership, with proper leadership," he said on Fox News. "And people are hurt so badly."
Democrat Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, voted early in Chappaqua, New York, and afterwards the candidate, who could in a matter of hours be the first women ever elected president of the United States, struck a humble tone.
"I know how much responsibility goes with this," Clinton said. "So many people are counting on the outcome of this election, what it means for our country, and I will do the very best I can if I'm fortunate enough to win today."
Elsewhere, Vice President Joe Biden voted early in Wilmington, Delaware, accompanied by his wife, Jill Biden.
"The bad news is I'm not going away," he joked as he posed for selfies with people waiting in line to vote.
He also saluted volunteers for helping the process run smoothly.
"What's your name? How are you? I haven't seen you in mass lately," the Greenville resident said, working the crowd.
"That happened to me two elections ago," he told a man filling out a voter verification form. "They said, 'You sure you live here?'"
After casting his ballot, Biden declared that "it's a beautiful day to vote."
"It could be a very long night or it could be very short," he said, telling a reporter to keep an eye on Florida.
Both Clinton and Trump have argued the election presents a deeply divided nation with a stark choice regarding its future.
Clinton and other Democrats have repeatedly warned that the GOP standard-bearer is temperamentally unfit to be president, and that his rhetoric on race, gender and immigration, represents a rejection of core American values.
Trump insists his outsider campaign represents America's last chance to drive out a corrupt political establishment that has turned its back on blue-collar workers.