As millions more head to the voting booths and the ballots get counted, many of the story lines we've been watching will come to a close. But each has the potential to create what we in the news business call "a next day story," something we'll be reporting on in the days, weeks and maybe even months to come.
Here are the 10 items at the top of our list to watch Tuesday and beyond.
Controversy heightened by a tight election
Elections officials often joke that their bedtime prayer is something along the lines of, "Dear Lord, whoever wins, let them win big." Closely contested races mean incidents that affect small numbers of voters become hugely important.
North Carolina is no stranger to voting controversy. For example, in 2004, a malfunctioning voting machine in Carteret County lost hundreds of votes and delayed a final result in the Commissioner of Agriculture race until well into the new year.
With millions heading to the poll all in one day, chances are good we'll be fielding more calls about mistakes and chicanery.
In the wake of Election Day, many of these episodes will quickly fall out of the spotlight. But if the election is close, some problems could swing the outcome of ballots for Congress, state legislature or even which presidential candidate gets our state's electoral votes.
Does NC revert to red?
As the race for electoral votes plays out on the national stage, North Carolina voters will be looking to see whether the Tar Heel State will stay blue or revert to red. President Barack Obama won North Carolina by only 14,177 votes in 2008, and a preponderance of polling indicates whoever wins here in 2012 could be looking at a similarly slim margin.
Does spending pay off in Supreme Court outcome?
Does governor's race play out as predicted?
For Dalton, the biggest question may be whether he can keep it close enough to mount a political comeback in 2016.
Meanwhile, McCrory may be looking for a big mandate from the electorate and hoping that he has coattails. For example, McCrory has lent his name to efforts on behalf of Newby.
Does new lieutenant governor remain in the shadows?
While Dalton has trailed throughout the election, Democrat Linda Coleman has kept things close against Republican Dan Forest in the race for lieutenant governor. Some Democratic consultants say Coleman could shorten McCrory's coattails and blunt a Republican rout on the ballot.
Does scandal undo Debra Goldman?
McCrory's coattails could yield change in Council of State
The Council of State is made up of the 10 officials elected by all voters in North Carolina. Some, like the governor, are relatively well known. Others, such as the insurance commissioner, treasurer or labor commissioner are not as high profile. Their fates are often tied to who is winning at the top of the ticket.
Some Democratic incumbents, such as Treasurer Janet Cowell, may find themselves in trouble against unknown and under-funded challengers if Republicans get on a roll.
Lawmakers look to surpass veto threshold
The GOP will be aided by new legislative districts designed to give Republican candidates an edge. Democrats are hoping that get-out-the-vote efforts in urban and suburban counties by the Obama campaign will allow them to begin to roll back GOP gains.
GOP looks to control congressional delegation
The winner in the 7th District will be part of a statewide effort by Republicans to expand their majority in the U.S. House.
You never know what the future holds
There are dozens of school board races, county commissioner seats and other contests up for grabs across the Triangle. Any one of them could produce the surprise outcome that we'll be following into next year and beyond.