After an acrimonious presidential campaign that exposed the depth of the political divisions in the United States, Americans streamed to the polls Tuesday to choose either incumbent Donald Trump or challenger Joe Biden to lead a pandemic-battered nation for the next four years.
There were no signs of disruptions at polling places that some had feared after a vitriolic campaign marked by provocative rhetoric. Voters cast ballots around the country, with long lines in some locales and short lines in others.
Ahead of Election Day, just over 100mn voters cast early ballots either by mail or in person.
A series of opinion polls showed Democratic nominee Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump in US elections. A New York Times/Siena College poll showed Biden ahead in Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona and Wisconsin, all key swing states that Trump carried in 2016. A CNN poll showed Biden up in Arizona, Michigan and North Carolina, also states Trump won in 2016.
US elections officials and media organisations that usually call races on election night say there is a good chance that the winner of the election will not be clear by midnight on Tuesday. That would not be unusual – the count has gone past midnight in three of the last five elections, in 2000, 2004 and 2016.
On the other hand, a result in the presidential race can be have by the end of the night if either candidate achieves decisive wins in key states. And the data from the huge early voter turnout could provide important insights on how the election is unfolding.