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US Elections 2008
US Election: As it unfolded
Al Jazeera follows the day's events with analysis and reports from around the world.
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2008 05:58 GMT

Americans are voting to choose the next occupant of the White House [GALLO/GETTY]

As Americans head to the polls for this historic presidential election, Al Jazeera follows the day's events - unfolding minute by minute - with analysis and reports from across the country, and around the world.

All times are in GMT

05:42

Al Jazeera's Rob Reynolds in Chicago

The mood is still very high, very ecstatic.  Some of them don't want to leave.  It's a moment many people in this city, this crowd, do not want to end. 

But tomorrow it will end, and the next president will have to deal with many issues, total economic disarray, and a host of other problems. 

Now Obama comes to office bearing the highest expectations of any president. 

He said it won’t be easy, but he is very hopeful.  He even reached out to those who did not vote for him.  It was a message of reconciliation and an optimistic message.

05:17

The speech is over. Obama welcomes Joe Biden, his running-mate, on to the stage.

05:12

"This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people":

"Yes We Can.  Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America."

05:08

"Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers – in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people. "

05:05

"I was never the likeliest candidate for this office".

"We didn't start with much money or many endorsements.  Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington – it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston".

04:57

Obama walks on stage in Grant Park, Chicago to begin his victory speech.

04:23

McCain: "The failure is mine, not yours".

04:18

John McCain concedes election to Barack Obama.

Speaking in Phoenix, he says: "My friends, we have come to the end of a long journey.
 
"The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly."
 
"A little while ago I called senator Barack Obama to congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country we all love."
 
"This is an historic election, and I recognise the significance this has for African Americans, and the pride they must have tonight."
04:10

Al Jazeera's Sarah Brown in Grant Park, Chicago:

Jesse Jackson was overcome with emotion
following the announcement [GALLO/GETTY]
As soon as the breaking news graphic appearaed on the screen, this crowd new what it was it was almost mass hysteria, a very emotionally charged scene, people crying, having trouble finishing their sentences.

A crowd as far as the eye can see at Grant Park and a sea of American flags.

Impatience now to hear from the man himself - it will be an incredibly emotional moment for many.

The next few hours will be a case of settling in and anticipating what the next-president elect will have to say.

04:05

Al Jazeera's James Bays in Grant Park in Chicago says it is a blazing atmosphere.  Yes we can has turned into yes we did.

04:00

Barack Obama is projected to be the next US president, NBC news reports.

The projection came as Obama was projected to win in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington.

McCain was projected win in the state of Idaho.

03:10

Reverend Jesse Jackson, Chicago

Now you can vote across lines of race, 18-year-olds can vote.

The martyrs who made it possible who helped redeem America must be honoured.

Many Americans are choosing economic interests over fear. 

Now people are hurting.  We've lost plants, we've lost jobs, we've lost houses, we’ve lost banks. 

We need a way out.  McCain and Palin did not represent that way out, and Barack represents the kind of trust and hope for our way out.

It means stops spending billions to maintain the war that should have never been fought in the first place. 

A commitment to reinvest in our infrastructure, put America back to work. 

Also be partners with our allies around the world.

Many of the racial walls have come down. The right to vote, that wall is down. 

18-year olds allowed to vote, that wall is down. 

Legal segregation has come down.  Barack sees the world throughout a door and not through a keyhole.  We must close that north-south gap.

3:03

Robert Fisk of the Independent newspaper, tells Al Jazeera: "I think a lot of Arabs admire Obama. Not because they think he's a Muslim, which he's not, and not because he's got rid of George Bush, which they will be very happy about, but because he grew up poor, and most Arabs - to the shame of the Arab regimes - are also poor.
 

Obama supporters have gathered in Grant Park in Chicago [AFP]

"I think what they'll be looking for if they really want to trust him, is some gesture. The first one that comes to my mind, is why not close Guantanamo, why not tell the people of the Middle East, everything's changed."
 
"I think [Obama] has pretty much figured out what's going on in the Middle East ... the real issue is what his advisors are going to say, who they are going to be.
 
"We need to see if Obama - if he become the president - will bring real action ... there's big questions there and I still have my doubts we're going to see any action."
 
"I've never lived in a Middle East, which is such a hell disaster ... its the most dangerous area I've ever lived in and its never been as dangerous as it is now."

03:01

Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr in Chicago, says: "We had confidence from the very inception of this campaign that we had the right candidate, the right message, we felt we could raise the money."

"We knew if we could convince the masses [of] the three M's - money, message, and masses - that we could win this campaign. 

"The Democratic primary was a little bit rough.  We were going against the Clinton machine. 

"But if Barack Obama could emerge with a united Democratic party, and be allowed to reach out to Independents and Republicans, we were convinced that we could win this campaign. 

"When the economy collapsed, when elements of the economy showed weakness, it was very clear that we could move in with our economic message and establish the kind of foundation necessary for change. 

"For some people, this is the end of a two-and-a-half year campaign.  For others, it's a 232-year trek through time to change America and redefine what America is and who she will be.  This campaign and this candidacy has built on the legacy of that struggle to make the nation better."

03:00

Montana remains too close to call. John McCain is predicted to win Utah.

02:58

Barack Obama projected to win in Iowa, another key battlegorund John McCain in Texas.

02:36

Obama supporters cheer in Chicago, although no official announcement has yet been made in Phoenix.

02:32

US exit polls say that Barack Obama is likely to be the next US president.

02:31

He is now projected to win New Mexico as well.

02:30

"No Republican since the founding of the party has won the presidency without winning Ohio," John Nichols says.

"What happened in Ohio is a massive turnout in traditionally Democratic areas."

"McCain put his lifeblood into this state. He fought county by county, city by city. He made a person from this state a symbol of his campaign, Joe the plumber. He knew he had to," he says.

"We're still watching for some of the military base counties and western counties in Florida. All the states that are toss-ups are Bush Republican states. If Obama wins any of them, that's icing on the state because he’s already won Ohio."

The current state of the race has 10 states too close to call, including Arizona, Missouri, North Carolina, Florida and Virginia.

McCain projected to win 11 states, Obama projected to win 18 states.

Projected Electoral College Votes: Obama 200 - McCain 85 (Target: 270)

02:23

Projections from Al Jazeera's broadcast partner NBC say Barack Obama has taken Ohio.

He is also projected to win Michigan, Wisconsin and Rhode Island.

02:12

"The people in this room are not watching all of the television channels the way we are," says Rosiland Jordan in Phoenix, Arizona.  "They have it simply as a three-vote count with Obama slightly ahead." 

"They're probably doing this to keep the energy in the room.  There are some people who are more passionately supporting McCain than others."

02:09

Rob Reynolds, reporting from Chicago, says: "The fact that its even close in Arizona tells you a lot.  Obama had put in a lot of efforts even into North Dakota.

'If you look at the map and see all that Blue in the northeast, you realise that in this area that was once the Republican heartland, there is almost no Republican office-holder left.  More and more people filling up in Grant Park."

02:07

"What's significant tonight, looking state by state - Barack Obama seems to be hitting his mark, he seems to be doing as well as his campaign said he has to do," John Nichols of The Nation says.

"We're seeing some remarkable things happen. A state like louisisana, or Mississippi being too early to call ... Barack Obama is getting votes in places he didn't even campaign in.

As far as Arizona, Nichols says:"When you're having to fight for your home state, the bottom line is you're in a bad situation."

"Those numbers coming in from Florida continue to look very very good for Barack Obama [but] Arkansas is looking quite good for John McCain."

"We have to understand that Barack Obama is not going to have that 50-state sweep. John McCain is going to have a sweep of states. But Obama is getting closer to that 'what-if' scenario," he says.

02:03

Kansas, North Dakota and Wyoming are projected to be won by McCain.

However, Arizona, McCain's home state - remains 'too close to call.'

1:43

Senior fellows discuss how the next president can move forward on the Palestinian-Israeli issue.

Nadia Hijab, senior fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies, tells Al Jazeera that when the next president takes office, "there's perhaps going to be a slight change in discourse ... but I think there's a very narrow margin for maneouvre unless he's pushed."

"I think the dynamic will change somewhat because I think there will be more space to push."

"If Obama takes his lead from Bush, it could be a disaster... [and] if the next president isn't going to step up and do something, than I think the US should step back."

Hussein Ibish, Executive Director, American Task Force on Palestine, says: "The key probably is the prospect of success. So its very important that the Bush administration says the right things to the incoming president."

"I do think its possible that the Israel-Syrian track might look more appealing because it might seem more doable," he says.

"But I think that would be a mistake because in the end, I don't think that will solve any of the key issues."

Martin Indyk, former US ambassador to Israel, says: "What you're going to see is a push on two tracks if Obama is president.  The Israeli-Syrian negotiations will have a benefit for the Palestinian track.

"It's not so simple to move on this front.  There may be a central-right government as opposed to a center-left government in Israel."

Read more about Gazas scant hope for the US elections.

1:40

John McCain is projected to win the southern state of Georgia.

1:20

Al Jazeera's Barnaby Phillips in Ohio: I would suggest that Ohio is likely to be similar to Indiana, Florida, North Carolina, too close to call. 

Voting remains under way in Alaska [Reuters]
They may well get frustrated.  In the past, Republicans have been accused of trying to suppress the vote. 

If the Ohio vote is close tonight, I would expect lawsuits, if the national victory is not a landslide victory for either candidate. 

1:18

Al Jazeera's James Bays in Chicago: "The mood here is an ecstatic one, they think this is going Obama's way.

 "This is a very, very excited crowd who, later on this evening, will hear senator Obama speak to them, and they hope that will be a victory speech."

1:16

Al Jazeera's Rob Reynolds in Chicago:

This is a huge deal for Obama to save Pennsylvania.  

The road to victory (for McCain) was to retain all of the states that Bush won back in the last election in 2004 and try to snatch away another state like Pennsylvania and New Hampshire and in the West later on. 

We had 2.2 million new Democratic voters register in Pennsylvania.  

Obama put 57,000 volunteers on the ground in Pennsylvania.  

This was one of the states John McCain had worked the hardest to win. 

1:15

John Nichols of the Nation says of Florida, "the most conservative counties in the state close their polls later."
 
"The results - they're coming very big out of south Florida, such as from Miami ... those are counties that McCain targeted very hard.
 
"He thought he could rely on the Cuban vote ... he thought he could count on Jewish communities, but we've seen those communites go for Obama."
 
"The Obama folks that we've been talking to on the phone feel really excited."
 
Pennsylvania has been a Democrat state for years.
 
"This is [however] the state where organised labour kept saying we're having a problem ... they loved Hilary Clinton in the primaries."
 
"Where that began to shift was when the economy took a hit in September.
 
"Overall, the one thing that we are pretty sure of is that Obama is going to be pretty competetive where Democrats haven't been, such as in states like Arizona and Colorado."

1:14

Barack Obama is projected to win Illinois and Washington DC.

You call follow all the results live on our interactive map and detailed results page.

1:00

Barack Obama is projected to win Pennsylvania, a key battleground state.

Obama is also projected to win Maine, New Hampshire, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Maryland.

McCain is projected to win Tennesee, South Carolina and Oklahoma.

00:27

Al Jazeera's Franc Contreras in Mexico City

Mexicans are watching this election very carefully, especially here in the capital. 

Mexicans agree that the next US president must take a leadership role to bring about immigration reform. 

It is under this Bush administration that Washington has accelerated the construction of long border fences. 

The border crossing in Arizona is an important one between Mexico and the United States. 

Many who attempt to make a crossing are captured and deported.  Mexicans have been waiting a long time for changes, and they wait to see what the next US president will do about this issue.

00:26

Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia too close to call.

00:24

John Nichol of the Nation magazine says there is early evidence that Obama had done well among white working class voters.

The Democrats will be feeling very confident about the early projections with these senate races, but there is evidence that Republican turnout in Virginia has been quite high, Nichol says.

00:15

Al Jazeera's Rosiland Jordan in Arizona, says the McCain camp feel the campaign picked up strength in the last few weeks because of the effect of 'Joe the Plumber,' the Ohio man who challenged Obama over his tax policies.

00:13

'Uncle Sam' turned out to vote in Alabama [AFP]
Democrats win senate seat in Virgina.

00:06

John McCain is projected to win Kentucky, Barack Obama Vermont, while Indiana and Georgia are too close to call.

00:00

 

Polls close in Indiana, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia.
In first few thousand US votes counted, Obama wins 51 per cent, McCain 48 per cent, AP reports.

 

23:33

Al Jazeera's Sarah Brown, reporting from Chicago, says: "Long lines to enter Grant Park as dusk fell. Many young supporters, all festooned in Obama t-shirts and badges, are milling about.

"There is a palpable air of excitement, street sellers doing a brisk trade in Obama memorabilia. One man told me he had sold 30 t-shirts in two hours and was forced to ask a friend to go get more for him to sell. Another woman said she had flown from California to see Obama speak in person here."

23:25

"The polls show both candidates are running neck-in-neck," Al Jazeera's Lucia Newman, in Miama, Florida, says.

"Ten percent is a huge amount needed to win the presidency.  A lot of people are voting by absentee ballot.  So far today, we have not been seeing a tremendous amount of irregularities.  It is a very, very tight race.  This is a state that has been historically Red.  A key voting bloc, the Hispanic bloc is changing."

23:23

Al Jazeera's Barnaby Phillips in Columbus, Ohio, says no irregularities have been reported for the state.

"No Republican in modern times has taken the presidency without Ohio - that's why for the last week, McCain and Palin were here, criss-crossing around the state," Phillips says.

Voter turnout is also said to be high. "I think something like five million Ohioans voted in 2004, but we're projections that maybe up to six and a half million will have voted today," he says.

"[Mccain] definitely feels he has a chance."

Ohio's secretary of state says voting has been progressing smoothly, unlike the contentious vote in 2004.

23:00

Polls close in Kentucky and much of Indiana.

22:56

Al Jazeera's Yvonne Ndege in Kenya, reports that "the level of excitement is absolutely unbelievable.  Many of these villagers have been sitting here for 15 hours watching international television news in a language they barely understand.  That excitement is felt across the region.

"There's also a huge sense of pride, because Obama’s father was born in this village.

"If Obama does win, the local community is planning to slaughter cows and have a barbecue."

22:52

Robert Fisk, the Middle East correspondent
for the Independent newspaper, tells Al Jazeera: "The Middle East did not feature in this election campaign."

"We're going to have to workout whether this man [Barack Obama] wants international justice or he just want to be president of the United States."

"The first thing that he will have to to deal with is the global financial crisis - not the Palestinians or Lebanon."

22:46

"As the first African American candidate in the United States, [Obama] could not afford to write off one segment" of the US, John Nichols, a political analyst, tells Al Jazeera.

Voting remains under way in Hawaii, where
Obama grew up [Reuters]
"He has a real chance to win, not just the presidency, but the mandate he thinks he needs to govern."

The three most important states to watch in the coming hours, Nichols says, are Indiana, Georgia and Virginia.

Indiana has been a Republican state since 1964.

"Obama did his last campaign stop there, he really wants," Nichols says. "He poured ... maybe tens of millions of dollars into the state. Fourty-four campaign offices opened, [he made] bus stops throughout the state, something no Democrat has done."

"Georgia ... if he makes it close, and if he puts that senate race into play ... he has really cut into that old Confederate base."

"Virginia is a state that has been Red pretty much since the 1950s," he says. But its "already looking a little blue", according to opinion polls.

22:33

David Wurmser, a former Cheney aide, PJ Crowley, an advisor to Obama on national security, and Salim Lone, communications director to Kenya's Orange Democratic Movement, join Al Jazeera's Avi Lewis for a discussion on challenges the next US president will face.

On the challenge of peace, Lone says "Whoever wins must end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama in particular must back away from threats to escalate in Afghanistan and Pakistan."

He says - based on a recent trip - that Iran "is prepared to do its best. They were screaming for help from the United States, they wanted peace."

"We must allow people [and] nations respect."

Wurmser says the next US president will "have to answer a few questions that were born on September 11."

He says the ballance of power in the Middle East remains important.

"Iran does not seek change. [These] realities will be encountered very quickly," says Wurmser.

Wading into the discussion, Crowley says democracy is "the end of a long process". 

"How do you achieve sustainable security in the world?  How do you control poverty? Diplomacy matters.  You have to be willing to go and engage with these countries."

He says after the next US president take's office, "we'll be dealing with global terrorism, but we will have to use all the means, not just military."

22:00

Al Jazeera begins 12 hours of special election coverage.

Rob Reynolds, Al Jazeera's senior Washington correspondent, reporting from Chicago, Illinois, says Barack Obama is spending one last day on the campaign trail. 

"Obama went to neighbouring state of Indiana and worked the phone banks himself," Reynolds says.

Chicago's mayor is expecting up to a million people in the Grant Park area to mark the close of Obama's campaign.

Al Jazeera's Rosiland Jordan, meanwhile, reporting in Phoenix, Arizona, says John McCain is spending his time trying to make sure Rocky Mountain states don't go to Barack Obama.

Tune in to Al Jazeera's  special coverage on Livestation

21:16

Long lines reported at polling stations in Los Angeles, California.

"You will definitely hear people having problems in terms of their ability to vote," says Al Jazeera's Melissa Chan in Los Angeles. "But people did seem positive, upbeat, they wanted to be out there."

California is a key state because it carries the biggest electoral vote.

21:07

The New York Stock Exchange closes with the Dow industrial average ahead by 345 points, despite news of lower-than-expected industrial performance, and real estate down 68 per cent in the year up to October.

Al Jazeera's John Terret, at the NYSE, said it was the biggest election day rally in decades.

20:00

Official are now testing the microphones at Obama event, says Al Jazeera's James Bays. Security is very tight. Many will gather in Grant Park and other parts of central Chicago, but only the 70,000 people with tickets have anychance of seeing the stage, and Obama.

18:15

"Things have been calm in Florida overall so far," says Al Jazeera's Craig Mauro in Miami. "There were long queues all over Miami this morning when polls opened, though they seem to have died down for the moment."

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Few glitches have been reported in the state. Florida's secretary of state says all but two of the state's polling stations opened on time. One in Palm Beach county and another in Leon county opened slightly late because of minor problems with locks and personnel.

The Miami Herald newspaper, meanwhile, reports: "A power outage in east Miami included a polling place at Morningside Park, and broken optical-scanning machines were reported at the First Congregational Church in Fort Lauderdale and Holiday Springs Village Auditorium in Margate.

"The power outage did not affect voting because generators kicked in, and election workers said other scanners would be used to replace the ones that are down."

17:13

Al Jazeera's John Terret, reporting from the floor of the New York stock exchange, says financial markets are still trading high despite a mixed economic outlook.

He says the markets are "heaving this great big sigh of relief" that the 21-month-long race for the White House is at last coming to a close.

"We've had such bad economic news during the month of October, and I think the economy has certainly driven people to come out and vote," Terret said.

16:55

John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, casts his ballot in Phoenix, Arizona, at a church near his home, with his wife Cindy at his side.

Supporters shout "Go, John, go!" and "We love you!", while one person's sign reads "Use your brain, vote McCain!"

McCain planned to attend a rally in Grand Junction, Colorado, and a volunteer site in New Mexico before returning to Phoenix in the evening.

16:43

Dennis Hastert, the former Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, told Al Jazeera's Riz Khan: "I think we'll see an outstanding election no matter who wins because we'll see unprecendent numbers of people coming out to vote.

"We're showing - kind of a demonstration - that democracy really works.

"Its one thing to talk before the people, its another to make real change - and we'll see whether [Barack Obama] has the ability to do that."

Watch Riz Khan live and join him for an election chat on Livestation.

16:20

High voter turnout is expected across the country [Omar Chatriwala]

"A steady stream of people have been arriving at a polling station in Manassas, Virginia, a key battleground state, and the place where Obama gave his final campaign speech on Tuesday," Al Jazeera's Rob Winder reports.

"Both sides seem to have got out the vote here, but a McCain campaign official told Al Jazeera he didn't think the Republicans could hold on to the state, citing Obama's huge campaign resources and the struggling US economy as the key factors."

Read the full report here.

16:10

Sarah Palin heads into the voting booth in her home town of Wasilla, Alaska.

"We have a very optimistic, very confident view of what's going to happen today. Just so glad to be able to cast my vote in Wasilla," she said.

The Alaskan governor is expected to vote and then immediately head to the airport for a flight to Phoenix, Arizona, where she'll join John McCain.

15:52

Al Jazeera's Sarah Brown, reporting from Chicago, said: "Some incredible scenes this morning in Chicago - lines of voters around the block at some election polling stations, at some places, people started waiting in line at 5am and waiting up to two hours.
 
"No reports so far of any irregularities or problems. As expected, Barack Obama's hometown is doing him proud - of more than 30 voters polled informally by Al Jazeera, all but one were for the Democratic candidate."

15:23

Jon Huntsman Jr, the Republican governor of Utah, told Al Jazeera: "Its going to be a very interesting day, and no doubt, whichever way it goes, its going to be making history."

He said John McCain has been "very well spoken on America's need to engage abroad," whereas Obama "has done a very good job in appealing to young voters".

McCain emphasised national security and the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, whereas Obama focussed on domestic issues in campaigning, Hunstman said, adding that it "is going to be interesting to see where the different demographic segments have shown their support and allegiance this time around".

15:14

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Long lines in Florida, where polls have been open for three hours, Al Jazeera's Sebastian Walker, reported from the Little Havana neighbourhood of Miami.

Florida is a crucial contest in the race, where George Bush won in 2000 amid claims of voting irregularities.

"This state alone accounts for about 10 per cent of the total votes needed to win this contest," Walker said.

"Definitely, the turn out here is going to be very large indeed."

A candidate needs 270 electoral college votes to win - Florida has 27.

14:42

US stocks up in early trading as investors prepare for election results later in the day. Oil prices rise as well.

Analysts aren't predicting either candidate will boost financial markets more than the other - they expect stocks will recover no matter who is elected.

13:54

Joe Biden, Obama's running mate and the Democrat's nominee for vice-president, votes in Delaware, his home state.

13:37

Obama casts his vote at Shoesmith Elementary School on the south side of Chicago, his home town.

Al Jazeera's Monica Villamizar reports: "It's hard for me to describe the excitement here in Chicago - Obama's city. Everyone here is saying they want to be part of history in the making."

13:35

"People have been queuing here all morning," reports Al Jazeera's Hamish MacDonald, speaking from Arlington, Virginia, unexpectedly a battleground state - Virginia has voted Republican for the past 40 years.

"There have been enormous queues. The queue for this polling station met up with the queue from another polling station - effectively meeting in the middle - which shows you how long these queues are."

At least 130 million Americans are expected to vote across the country, adding to the 29 million who voted in early polling.

13:20

Obama has promised change and many
voters believe he will deliver [EPA]

Reports of some voting difficulties.

In some areas of New Jersey voters had to use paper ballots because of problems with electronic voting machines, while voters at a polling station in Virginia were kept waiting, poll workers said, because the head of a branch library had overslept.

13:07

"We keep hearing about Ohio being a battleground state," says Al Jazeera's Felicity Bar, reporting from Colombus, the state capital.

"They've seen celebrity endorsements, leafleting and a huge amount of money spent on advertising here."

12:43

Americans are going to the polls in large numbers. Al Jazeera's Robert Winder reports a queue of at least 250 people at a polling station just blocks away from the White House.

"Washington District of Colombia only has three electoral votes but it looks as if turnout is going to be very high here," he said.

12:00

Polls open in Florida where, with McCain and Obama neck-and-neck, the ballot will be closely scrutinised, especially after the controversy that surrounded the state in the 2000 elections.

Watch Al Jazeera's report on the Sunshine State's electoral process.

11:30

Polls open in the swing state of Ohio. The state has 20 electoral votes up for grabs and polls indicate Obama slightly leading McCain. In the lead up to the election, Republicans voiced fears over possible voting irregularities.

11:00

Polls open in other eastern states, including New York.

10:00

Voting starts in the northeastern state of Vermont.

09:28

"I think voters want Obama," Gary Wasserman a professor at Georgetown University says, discussing the election on Al Jazeera.

"I think they've had eight years of a fighter pilot in the Oval Office - a fighter pilot who thinks on his feet, who believes in his own instincts and who doesn't tend to listen to people.

"I think with Obama - among different policy distinctions - there's also a difference in personality. You have somebody who is not only smart but is also willing to listen."

At least 130 million Americans are expected to vote for a successor to the unpopular President Bush.

08:31
 
Record numbers of Americans are expected at polling stations across the US for the election, adding their ballots to the 29 million who have already voted in early polling.

The tally from early voting suggests an advantage for Obama, with official statistics showing that Democrats voted in larger numbers than Republicans in North Carolina, Colorado, Florida and Iowa.

All of those states voted for George Bush in the 2004 elections.

08:11

McCain is "not ready for the rocking chair", reports the Reuters news agency, detailing the Republican nominee's gruelling schedule of last minute rallies across seven states and three time zones.

Should he win the election, McCain would be the oldest person to ever take office as president.

07:59

John McCain made a last minute election
blitz across seven states [AFP]
McCain has completed his election night blitz - seven states in 20 hours.

"It's wonderful to be back in Arizona, it's great to be home," the 72-year-old senator told thousands of his supporters who gathered at his final campaign rally.

"Seven states today and the enthusiasm and the momentum we've received - we're going to win and bring it home to Arizona," he said.

07:55

Lively debate on the US election under way on Al Jazeera's Your Views page.

"I will be voting for Obama," writes Sohl in the US.

LeotheIsaurian writes: "I have voted and voted for McCain. Not so much because I like him as a representative of the party, but because I detest Obama and his party."

Join the discussion here.

07:04

McCain wraps up his major, last-minute tour with a rally in Arizona - McCain has been touring seven states in 20 hours.

Supporters at the Republican nominee's rally in Prescott, Arizona - McCain's home state - insist that McCain will be the next president, Al Jazeera's Theresa Bo reports.

05:40

Obama carries Hart's Location, winning 17 votes to the 10 votes cast for McCain.

05:21

Dixville Notch backs Barack Obama over John McCain with a vote split 15-6. The town last picked a Democrat in 1968, when it chose Hubert Humphrey over Richard Nixon.

05:00

Voting begins in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, home to 75 people and known for its early polling tradition. Polling also gets under way in the New Hampshire town of Hart's Location.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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