Millions of voters are casting ballots across Egypt to choose a new president, for the second time in two years.
A huge security operation has been mounted by police and the military, amid fear of attacks by militants seeking to disrupt the polls.
Former army chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, who deposed Islamist President Mohammed Morsi last year, is standing against left-wing candidate Hamdeen Sabahi.
Mr Sisi is forecast to win by a comfortable margin.
The elections are being held across two days, with unofficial results expected hours after polls close.
BBC reporters’ log
“Voters in a queue noticed a young man standing nearby watching them. “Don’t you want to vote?” they asked. The man, Mohammed, answered back: “I didn’t take part in the revolution and watch my friends die to then vote in an election that is nothing but a show.” Ahmed Omar, Suez
“There is a sense of excitement among voters. Michel Magdi said he had brought his three-year-old daughter to teach her the importance of determining the future for her country.” Ahmed Kilani, Minya, Upper Egypt
“There are notably more women voting than men.” Amr Gamil, Helwan
“Security presence is notably heavy, police and army are almost everywhere across the city.” Sally Nabil, Alexandria
“In the historic Cairo quarter where Abdul Fattah al-Sisi grew up, posters of the president-in-waiting are draped across the narrow streets. Around noon we found no queues at polling stations in Gamaliyya district, but plenty of ardent Sisi supporters calling out from shop fronts and doorways.” Orla Guerin, Gamaliyya, Cairo
“The polling station here in the Institute for Fine Arts is for women only and the soldiers are greeted like The Beatles on their first US visit.” Kevin Connolly, Zamalek, Cairo
“There is a very festive atmosphere in central Cairo – more of a party than a poll. Posters of Abdul Fattah al-Sisi and Egyptian flags are the accessories of the day. ” Shaimaa Khalil, Sayeda Zeinab, Cairo
Shortly after polls opened, Mr Sisi cast his vote at a polling station in Heliopolis, Cairo, amid a throng of reporters and spectators.
“The Egyptians are coming out to write their history and chart their future,” said the 59-year-old, dressed in a dark suit and tie.
Mr Sisi appeals to Egyptians who crave stability after years of political upheaval and anything else than an easy win for him would be a source of astonishment, says the BBC’s Kevin Connolly in Cairo.
The scale of turnout will be seen as an indication of the strength of endorsement of the winning candidate.