New Hampshire was the first to go to the polls and the results point to what has been the hallmark of the campaign-a draw.
Streaming to the booths shortly after midnight, residents of Dixville Notch were tied for the first time in history, with Barack Obama and Mitt Romney each receiving five votes.
This draw is another indication of the knife’s edge separating the two candidates in a race that should be decided by the end of the day.
Tanner Tillotson, 24, who cast the first ballot at 12:00 am local time, said he voted for President Obama.
“I think (the result) is very indicative, that this is the first time in Dixville Notch’s history that there is a tie. We’re still a much divided nation and it will be interesting to see how the rest of the country is,” he said.
This small New Hampshire town, some 30 kilometres from the Canadian border, boasts the first vote in US elections, but is seen as more of a curiosity.
Voting is usually held in the ballroom of a luxury hotel, but this year was moved to a nearby ski lodge as the building is closed for renovation.
The nearby Location has long competed with Dixville Notch to be the first in the nation, but with more than twice as many voters, its count takes slightly longer to complete.
Tuesday’s result in Hart’s Location was a bit less ambiguous, with Mr Obama getting 23 votes versus Mr Romney’s nine.
Early voting has been under way for several weeks in some states, and long lines have formed outside of polling stations as the two campaigns have carried out intensive get-out-the-vote efforts.
The Republican candidate has won Dixville Notch in every election since the tradition began in 1960, except for 2008, when Mr Obama won.
Nationally, polls show Mr Obama as the slight favorite, with the two candidates in a virtual tie in national polls but the president holding a narrow lead in the key swing states needed to win the all-important Electoral College.
In US presidential elections the winner is not decided by the nationwide popular vote, but indirectly, based on each state’s population, with the winner needing 270 out of 538 electoral votes.
The small state of New Hampshire casts just four electoral votes, but it is considered a swing state and could prove decisive in an election that may well be decided by a razor-thin margin.