Voters, young and old, take to polls

  • A little girl plays with balloons at Republican U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown’s midterm election night rally in Manchester, N.H., Nov. 4, 2014.
  • A supporter of U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) raises a sign at his midterm election night rally in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 4, 2014. Television news networks are projecting that McConnell will win the midterm election. 
  • Supporters of Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, Sarah Ballard, Hannah Ballard and Emily Ballard hold signs as they watch early news reports of Mitch McConnell’s apparent victory during an election night party, Nov. 4, 2014 in Lexington, Ky. Grimes is running against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). 
  • Supporters of Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) bow their heads in prayer during an invocation before the start of his midterm election night rally in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 4, 2014. Television news networks are projecting that McConnell will win the election. 
  • Sophie Barber, left, and Julia Barker, adjust balloons at the election night party for Virginia Republican Congressional candidate Barbara Comstock, Nov. 4, 2014, in Ashburn, Va. Comstock is running against Democrat John Foust for the 10th Congressional District of Virginia. 
  • A voter is seen casting her ballot in the U.S. midterm elections at a barber school used as a polling station in Chicago, Ill., Nov. 4, 2014.
  • A podium with a placard is placed during preparations for a celebration for Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in New York, Nov. 4, 2014.
  • Charlotte residents line up at the Joseph W. Grier Academy polling station at 6:15 pm to vote in the U.S. midterm elections in Charlotte, N.C„ Nov. 4, 2014. 
  • Virginia residents wait in line in the pre-dawn hours to vote in the 2014 U.S. midterm elections at a historic property called the Hunter House at Nottoway Park in Vienna, Va., on Nov. 4, 2014
  • Firefighter Cheyne Hansen takes a sign out of storage at a municipal garage while helping election officials scramble to set up a last-minute polling place, Nov. 4, 2014, in Camden, Maine. Sunday’s snow storm knocked out power to much of the town, including the usual voting location at the public safety building, so officials decided to set up a polling place at a nearby church hall. 
  • Beverly Moore helps her grandson Jonah Karman-Moore vote for the first time at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky. on Nov. 4, 2014.
  • Lauren Koepp and Kara Smyth pose for a photo after casting their votes on Election Day early Tuesday morning, Nov. 4, 2014 in Austin, Texas.
  • A woman leaves after casting her vote at a polling station in New York on Nov. 4, 2014.
  • Poll manager Markeia White raises her right hand as she is sworn in before the polls open at the old Hoggards Mill Courthouse, now a polling site for Baker County, Nov. 4, 2014, in Newton, Ga. 
  • Yitzchok Hershowitz, left, signs in to vote with poll inspector Shahnaz Kadir, originally from Bangladesh, at a polling site, on Nov. 4, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York. 
  • Hands of poll workers are seen on a Bible as head precinct judge Deloris Reid-Smith reads the voters oath to poll workers before opening the polls at the Grove Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, N.C. on Nov. 4, 2014. 
  • A voter steps out of a booth after fulfilling his civic duty at a polling place inside the Delaware Art Museum, on Nov. 4, 2014, in Wilmington, Del.
  • A volunteer tries to grab the attention of passing motorists as he holds campaign signs in front of a polling site, Nov. 4, 2014, in Donna, Texas. 
  • Voter Barbara Hawkins is seen through an American flag as she walks into the Elmodel precinct to cast her ballot, Nov. 4, 2014, in Elmodel, Ga.
  • A voter arrives at a polling station at the Community Center, Nov. 4, 2014 in Brooklyn, Iowa. Brooklyn is the hometown of Democratic Senate Candidate Bruce Braley who is in a tight race against Republican Senate Candidate Joni Ernst. 
  • Elaine Davis holds the door for Sidney Lindsley at the First Congregational Church where election officials set up a last-minute polling place, Nov. 4, 2014, in Camden, Maine. Lindsley said he was not going to let the recent snowstorm make him miss his first election in 50 years. Both serve as deputy registrars for the town. Sunday’s snow storm knocked out power to much of the town, including the usual voting location at the public safety building, so officials decided to set up a polling place at the church.
  • Voters fill out their election ballots at the Arvada City Hall in the Arvada suburb of Denver, Colo., Nov. 4, 2014. Colorado has been deemed an important state in the midterm elections with a US Senate seat and the governor’s seat under contention. Colorado is one of several states that mails ballots to registered voters to be returned by mail or drop box. Many voters still used traditional methods to vote. US voters are increasingly disillusioned with Washington as they head to the polls Nov. 4 to elect senators and members of the House of Representatives. 
  • Volunteers try to grab the attention of passing motorists as they holds campaign signs near a polling site, Nov. 4, 2014, in Donna, Texas. 
  • Clutching a bag of groceries, Eric Lewis, 77, votes on U.S. midterm election day morning at Holmes School Senior Center in Philadelphia, Pa., Nov. 4, 2014.
  • Citizens go to the cast their ballots at the Charles Allis Art Museum on election day, Nov. 4, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wis. Republican Gov. Scott Walker is running in a tight race against Democratic opponent Mary Burke. 

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Every two years, Americans at all ages – from teens to centenarians – will take to the polls to elect leaders in their state.

While Americans under 30 and those over 65 occupy an equal share of the electorate – each roughly one fifth of the vote – older Americans were more than two times as likely to vote this year, according to the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, which looked at both their demographic’s historic voting behaviors as well as their specified interest in the election.

But these two groups are ideologically vastly different. Younger voters are traditionally more liberal, while older voters tend to vote for conservative candidates. What’s more: this election could have fewer young voters than the midterm election in 2010 did, when Republicans enjoyed historic gains and the tea party swept candidates into office. 

Age aside, it’s clear that voters this year care about domestic issues more than international issues. By a 4-to-1 margin, Americans said issues like health care, the economy, Medicare, and Social Security were more important to their votes than issues like Ebola and the U.S-led fight on the Islamic State of Iraq an Syria, according to the same poll.

At the end of the day, the story won’t be told until the ballots are cast and counted. So for now, take a look at people doing just that.

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