Democrat Jim Webb proclaimed victory early Wednesday over Republican Sen. George Allen in a Virginia race that could determine which party controls the Senate, even though a recount is certain.

"The votes are in and we won," Webb told a crowd of jubilant supporters at a northern Virginia hotel ballroom after 1 a.m.

"This is a great moment for all of us who believe in an inclusive society," he said. "I will look forward to representing all of you to the best of my ability."

Check Your State, Check Your Race by clicking BALANCE OF POWER dropdown menu above.

• Click here to visit YOU DECIDE 2006, FOXNews.com's complete election center.

Webb spoke as returns showed his lead as only 2,700 votes over Allen with only eight precincts yet uncounted. Webb claimed that those few remaining votes should break in his favor.

About an hour earlier, Allen addressed about 150 grim-faced supporters in a Richmond hotel ballroom, and urged them to watch carefully as the remaining returns are counted.

"The counting will continue through the night, and will continue tomorrow, and I know you will all be like eagles and hawks watching as every one of these votes are counted," Allen said.

As numbers showing Webb in front for the first time flashed across the screen, Allen supporter John Gunsolley hung his head, let out a sigh and murmured, "We lost."

"I'm very surprised," the 32-year-old Chesterfield Countyd Webb by 16 points in the year's first independent statewide poll.

Then came Aug. 11, the day Allen pointed out S.R. Sidarth, a 20-year-old Virginia-born man of Indian descent working as a Webb campaign volunteer, and introduced him at an all-white rally as "macaca," an obscure racial slur that denotes a genus of monkeys.

Sidarth was tracking Allen across the state, videotaping his public appearances, and his video of Allen's macaca moment was among YouTube's most-viewed within hours. It was a major national political story and grist for late-night comedians and cable talk shows for weeks.

Allen eventually apologized personally to Sidarth, but not until after the comment had provoked international scorn. By then, the political damage was done, and there was more to come.

In mid-September, Allen berated a reporter for "making aspersions" about his religion when he was asked at a debate whether his mother was Jewish. The next day, Allen, 54, who was raised Christian, confirmed that his maternal grandparents were Jews, but said his mother kept it secret from him and his siblings before revealing it to him in August.

Then came allegations from some former teammates from his University of Virginia football days in the early 1970s that Allen had commonly used a six-letter epithet against black people. Allen denied that the word was ever part of his vocabulary, and other teammates came forward to rebut the claims.

As Webb tied Allen to President Bush and the deadly U.S. occupation of Iraq, Allen battled back. He accused Webb of denigrating women in a 1979 magazine article decrying the admission of women to the U.S. Naval Academy. Allen later tried to portray sexual descriptions in Webb's six bestselling war novels as demeaning to women.

ainted by complaints of dirty tricks, with some voters reporting intimidating phone calls, misleading sample ballots and an armed man questioning Hispanic voters outside a precinct.

Nonetheless, poll watchers said voting across American went relatively well despite long lines in Denver, a Democratic lawsuit in Ohio and a longshot Texas candidate who briefly, and incorrectly, was shown with a wide margin.

"For 7,800 jurisdictions in this country, it looked like things came out pretty cotton-pickin' well," said Doug Lewis, executive director of Election Center, an nonpartisan organization of state election officials. "There were some problems, in some states, but overall it looks like all the predictions of disaster turned out wrong."

As polls closed nationwide, one of the worst waits was in Denver, where hundreds waited long past sunset at beseiged polling centers. They continued to wait, 90 minutes after the 7 p.m. close of voting. It was a miserable end to a day fraught with new voting machine problems and the longest statewide ballot in decades.

"This is positively ridiculous," said Jack McCroskey, who leaned on a cane while waiting to vote. "At 82, I don't deserve to have to stand out here."

Voter intimidation accusations prompted others to claim that some voters were bullied from getting a chance to vote.

In Virginia, where a Republican George Allen battled Democrat Jim Webb in a race too close to call, the FBI was looking at intimidation complaints from voters who reported they received calls telling them to stay home on Election Day, or face criminal charges.

In Indiana, the FBI was investigating allegations that a Democratic volunteer in the college town of Bloomington was found to have absentee ballots after counting had begun.

Other states reported similar problems.

In Arizona, three men, one of them armed, stopped and questioned Hispanic voters outside a Tucson precinct, according to voting monitors for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which photographed the incidents and reported them to the FBI.

In Maryland, sample ballots suggesting Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich and Senate candidate Michael Steele were Democrats were distributed by people bused in from out of state. Democrats outnumber Republicans in Maryland by nearly 2-to-1.

An Ehrlich spokeswoman said the fliers were meant to show the candidates had the support of some state Democrats. They were paid for by the campaigns of Ehrlich, Steel and the GOP. Some of the fliers include pictures of Ehrlich with Democrat Kweisi Mfume, a former NAACP president.

More than 80 percent of the nation's voters were expected to cast some type of electronic ballot Tuesday, which was the deadline for major reforms mandated by the federal Help America Vote Act, passed by Congress to prevent a rerun of the 2000 election debacle.

In some states, the effort to improve the integrity of the election system got off to a shaky start. Long lines formed in Ohio, Illinois and South Carolina.

U.S. District Court Judge Dan A. Polster in Ohio ordered polls stay open until 9 p.m. — 90 minutes after closing time, after the Ohio Democratic Party sued Cuyahoga County because of crowded precincts.

Cuyahoga County, home to Cleveland, suffered 14-hour voting lines in 2004. On Tuesday, problems with ballot-reading machines caused delays of more than an hour. For the first time, all 88 Ohio counties used electronic voting — either touch-screens or paper ballots that are electronically scannelied from getting a chance to vote.

In Virginia, where a Republican George Allen battled Democrat Jim Webb in a race too close to call, the FBI was looking at intimidation complaints from voters who reported they received calls telling them to stay home on Election Day, or face criminal charges.

In Indiana, the FBI was investigating allegations that a Democratic volunteer in the college town of Bloomington was found to have absentee ballots after counting had begun.

Other states reported similar problems.

In Arizona, three men, one of them armed, stopped and questioned Hispanic voters outside a Tucson precinct, according to voting monitors for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which photographed the incidents and reported them to the FBI.

In Maryland, sample ballots suggesting Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich and Senate candidate Michael Steele were Democrats were distributed by people bused in from out of state. Democrats outnumber Republicans in Maryland by nearly 2-to-1.

An Ehrlich spokeswoman said the fliers were meant to show the candidates had the support of some state Democrats. They were paid for by the campaigns of Ehrlich, Steel and the GOP. Some of the fliers include pictures of Ehrlich with Democrat Kweisi Mfume, a former NAACP president.

More than 80 percent of the nation's voters were expected to cast some type of electronic ballot Tuesday, which was the deadline for major reforms mandated by the federal Help America Vote Act, passed by Congress to prevent a rerun of the 2000 election debacle.

In some states, the effort to improve the integrcurately. In 2004, that figure was 50 percent.

But Florida showed a significant increase — forty-seven percent of voters were "very confident" in their states' ability to count votes, up from 38 percent in 2004. Though it was the site of the voting debacle of 2000, Florida has had relatively smooth elections since, including Tuesday's midterm election.

Check Your State, Check Your Race by clicking BALANCE OF POWER dropdown menu above.

• Click here to visit YOU DECIDE 2006, FOXNews.com's complete election center.