Americans on Tuesday will decide who will occupy the White House for the next four years — incumbent President and Republican nominee Donald Trump or former Vice President and Democratic nominee Joe Biden — as the Election Day has finally arrived.
In one of the most polarising presidential races in U.S. history, citizens will also have to brave the COVID-19 pandemic threat before stepping out to exercise their franchise.
Here are the live updates.
Polls open in four states
Polls opened at 6:00 am (16:30 IST) in the eastern states of New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Connecticut and Maine.
But the first polling stations to open in the country were in two New Hampshire villages, Dixville Notch and Millsfield, starting at midnight.
A tiny hamlet of 12 residents in the middle of the forest, near the Canadian border, Dixville Notch has traditionally voted “first in the nation” since 1960.
The vote took minutes, as did the count: five votes for Biden, and none for Trump. – AFP
10 states to watch out for
President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden each has a path to win the White House. The former vice president is competitive in all the battleground states Trump carried in 2016, and has put a handful of traditional Republican states, including Georgia and Arizona, in play. Trump can win by defending a wide swath of territory he won in 2016, but his hopes for reelection are heavily dependent on the swing states of Florida and Pennsylvania.
Grab the binoculars and focus on these 10 states as election returns start rolling in:
What to watch on Election Day in America
Election Day is finally here. Or at least what we still call Election Day, since nearly 100 million Americans had already cast ballots by Tuesday.
That’s the result of an election system that has been reshaped by the worst pandemic in a century, prompting many voters to take advantage of advance voting rather than head to polling places in person at a time when coronavirus cases are rising.
Here’s what to watch as the final votes for President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden are cast:
Fearing poll-related violence, White House, U.S. businesses take additional security cover
Security has been tightened at the White House, major commercial avenues and shopping districts in the United States as officials feared street violence on election day.
Vital government installations are on high alert. The Secret Service has fortified the White House; a non-scalable high wall has been temporarily erected around the sprawling presidential complex ahead of the voting on Tuesday.
On election eve, contractors were seen busy boarding up major stores and businesses from New York and Boston in the north to southern Houston to Washington DC and Chicago in the east to San Francisco in the West.
Boarding is the commercial term used for installing wooden platforms as protective covers for windows, it includes other makeshift security measures.
Judge rejects GOP effort to throw out 127,000 Houston votes
A federal judge on Monday rejected another last-ditch Republican effort to invalidate nearly 127,000 votes in Houston because the ballots were cast at drive-thru polling centres established during the pandemic.
The ruling came in response to a lawsuit by conservative GOP activists, who have filed a battery of court challenges over moves to expand voting options during the COVID-19 pandemic. The challenges have not involved Trump’s campaign.