With the U.S. Senate at stake, millions of voters went to the polls Tuesday with a mix of concern about the nation's future, skepticism about gridlock in Washington, and, for some, a little enthusiasm about the day.
Voters in Illinois, Kansas, North Carolina and elsewhere registered dissatisfaction with the choices on the ballot, saying they picked the best candidate they could in a cast of some so-so choices.
Others expressed disgust about Washington stalemate, saying change is desperately needed to shake up the nation's capital — whether it is a shift to solid GOP control of Congress or a president who takes a harder line with the opposition. Others, such as Janet Saint-Aubin of Danville, California, weren't quite so cranky at all on Election Day. Saint-Aubin said she liked voting because it's "fun."
Some quotes from around the nation.
MOSTLY YEARNING FOR FRESH FACES:
—Linda Mallery, in the Indianapolis suburb of Westfield, said her No. 1 issue this year is "voting incumbents out of office."
The security officer said she's unhappy with both parties and the status quo in Washington. "I want to see our country back on track observing the Constitution." she said.
Mallery added that she'd like to see Ted Cruz run for president in 2016.
— Barbara Edwards, a 67-year-old retiree from Fairway, Kansas, said she cast her ballot for independent Greg Orman in his bid to unseat Republican Sen. Pat Roberts.
"We need big changes in Washington," said Edwards, a Republican. "I feel like Pat Roberts has been in the Senate for a long, long time and we need some new blood there."
—Eighty-five-year-old retired nurse Rose Tax went to her polling station in southwestern Illinois, not sure about how she would vote.
"I don't like the Republican or Democratic party," Tax said. "I'm just against whoever's in office, whether it's the governor or the president."
She ended up voting for Libertarian Chad Grimm in the state's gubernatorial race. In the U.S. senate race, however, Tax sided with Democratic incumbent Dick Durbin, if anything, she said because "his name is familiar to me, and I don't recall anything coming out about him in the past that's bad."
BEST OF A HO-HUM CHOICE:
—In the closely-watched Kansas Senate race, Ron Buck, a 44-year-old independent, self-employed roofing contractor from Fairway voted for Republican Sen. Pat Roberts.
Buck said of the candidates on the ballot: "They both seem kind of like leftovers you don't want to eat, but he (Roberts) just seems a little bit better. I'm not crazy about either of them. I wouldn't give either of them money."
—George Butler voted for GOP congressional candidate Tom MacArthur in Toms River, New Jersey, but said he wished for better options.
"The Republicans are too much to the right, and the Democrats are too much to the left," Butler said. "As a moderate, this leaves me out of luck."
—Julie English, a 54-year-old office manager, mailed her ballot in the Denver suburb of Arvada. She described herself as a conservative independent who voted for all of Colorado's Republican candidates, hoping it would help turn control of the Senate to the GOP. The country, she said, is headed in the wrong direction when it comes to key matters such as the economy and immigration.
"It's gone far to the left," said English. "Under this administration, it's totally going the opposite of what this country is founded on."
Saint-Aubin, 63, went to the polls upbeat and cheered about making her choices.
"I just like to vote. I think it's fun to come to the polls rather than voting absentee," said Saint-Aubin, a Democrat. Health care, she said, is important to her. She said her two grown children live overseas, in countries where health care is free. "I wish our country was more like that," Saint-Aubin said. "Here it's every man for himself."
AP's Nancy Benac in Washington, Tom LoBianco in Indiana, Jim Suhr in Illinois, Sadie Gurman in Colorado, Kristin Bender in California, Heather Hollingsworth in Kansas and Bruce Shipkowski in New Jersey contributed to this report.