Republican Ed Martin casts his ballot in south St. Louis By Afton Spriggs
US Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Ill. votes at Highwood Community Center in Highwood, Ill., Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. Kirk is running to fill President Obama's old Illinois senate seat. (AP Photo/Lois Bernstein) By Lois Bernstein
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias votes at the Cedar St. Condominium Association in Chicago, Tuesday Nov. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty) By Paul Beaty
(AP) -- Polls have opened across Illinois on a crisp fall day with lots at stake for Republicans and Democrats.
The state Board of Elections says a few of Illinois' 11,000-plus polling places opened late but otherwise no serious problems are being reported.
An early voter in Chicago summed up concerns on many people's minds. Daniel Cabrere is a 37-year-old food service worker who's worried about taxes and jobs. So Cabrere says he picked GOP state Sen. Bill Brady over incumbent Pat Quinn for governor.
But in the hotly contested Senate race, the union member voted for Democrat Alexi Giannoulias because he thinks he's more pro-union than Republican Congressman Mark Kirk.
Kirk and state Treasurer Giannoulias are vying for President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.
Missouri voters are also casting ballots to settle several contentious election battles.
The polls are open in Missouri from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The most closely watched race has been for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Kit Bond. Republican U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt and Democratic Secretary of State Robin Carnahan are competing Tuesday to succeed Bond, who served for 24 years.
Democrat Rep. Ike Skelton of Lexington also faces one of the toughest re-election challenges in his 34-year career, from former Republican state lawmaker Vicky Hartzler.
Democratic incumbent Rep. Russ Carnahan of St. Louis is facing a strong challenge from Republican Ed Martin, an attorney with tea party backing.