After months of polit­ical cam­paigning, fiery debates and end­less TV com­mer­cials, voters head to the polls today to deter­mine America’s next president—Democratic incum­bent Barack Obama or Repub­lican chal­lenger Mitt Romney.

North­eastern will hold an elec­tion watch party tonight from 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at after­HOURS in the Curry Stu­dent Center, fea­turing free food, free t-​​shirts to the first 100 atten­dees, and live calling of local and national elections.

William Crotty, the Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Public Life and a polit­ical sci­ence pro­fessor, said he’s been encour­aged by the com­mit­ment of his stu­dents who have been vol­un­teering on polit­ical campaigns.

They have an inten­sity of com­mit­ment and a belief in the system that bodes well for the nation’s future,” he said.

As for the Tuesday’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, Crotty said nei­ther Obama nor Romney laid out com­pre­hen­sive plans for the economy and other impor­tant issues throughout the cam­paign. From a voter turnout per­spec­tive, he said,“The suc­cess of the Democ­rats at the con­gres­sional and pres­i­den­tial levels will deter­mine the Demo­c­ratic Party’s suc­cess. This is one con­stant in every elec­tion, that Repub­li­cans turn out and Democ­rats may or may not depending on their expec­ta­tions and the appeal of the candidates.”

For more about the elec­tion, NUVotes 2012, the result of a col­lab­o­ra­tion between stu­dent orga­ni­za­tions and uni­ver­sity offices, is a hub for infor­ma­tion and activ­i­ties on campus.

Uni­ver­sity Libraries also recently fea­tured a blog post about the schol­arly elec­tion resources avail­able to the North­eastern community.

Leading up to Elec­tion Day, News@Northeastern pro­vided numerous news sto­ries and Q&As with North­eastern fac­ulty about issues sur­rounding the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, as well as the U.S. Senate race in Mass­a­chu­setts. Here are some cov­erage highlights:

Will the first pres­i­den­tial debate tip the elec­tion scales?
Nov. 5
According to a trio of North­eastern experts in media and pol­i­tics, the per­for­mances in the first pres­i­den­tial debate may seal the polit­ical fate of Gov. Mitt Romney and Pres­i­dent Barack Obama on Tuesday.

3Qs: Sandy’s impact on the elec­tion
Nov. 2
Michael Dukakis, Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor of Polit­ical Sci­ence, dis­cusses what the dev­as­tating hur­ri­cane might mean for the pres­i­den­tial race—and how the Elec­toral Col­lege fac­tors into the equation.

Co-​​op hits the cam­paign trail
Oct. 31
Two polit­ical sci­ence stu­dents are cam­paigning on behalf of Mass­a­chu­setts U.S. Senate can­di­dates Scott Brown and Eliz­a­beth Warren.

Money and memes in pol­i­tics
Oct. 26
An inter­dis­ci­pli­nary team of North­eastern researchers is probing media output, polit­ical cam­paign lan­guage and finan­cial data to reveal the invis­ible net­works of lan­guage and money in the pres­i­den­tial election.

3Qs: Town hall added drama to high-​​stakes debate
Oct. 17
Robert E. Gilbert, the Edward W. Brooke Pro­fessor of Polit­ical Sci­ence, ana­lyzes the Oct. 16 debate, calling it “one of the most dra­matic and lively TV debates between pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates in the 50 years we’ve had such encounters.”

3Qs: Who won the first debate?
Oct. 4
Alan Schroeder, a pro­fessor in the School of Jour­nalism and one of the nation’s fore­most experts on pres­i­den­tial debates, offers an analysis of the first of three matchups between Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.