Trump claims premature victory as vote count continues: Live news

Joe Biden addresses supporters as election results continue to roll in.

  • Voting has closed in the US and all eyes are on the vote count to decide the race for the White House between incumbent President Donald Trump and his rival, veteran Democrat Joe Biden.
  • Biden addressed his supporters, saying he believes he is “on track” to win the election. He takes Arizona, California, Washington, New York, Illinois.
  • Trump prematurely claimed victory. He takes Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Missouri, Texas.
  • Early voting surged to levels never before seen in US elections, just more than 100 million early votes have been cast either in person or by mail.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the US elections. This is Shereena Qazi, taking over from Joseph Stepansky.

US vote result will not affect trade with Europe, France says

The outcome of the presidential elections will have little effect on US-Europe trade relations, France’s finance chief asserted, saying Washington is unlikely to drop its confrontational stance whether Trump wins or not.

 

The US administration has inflicted billions of dollars’ worth of tariffs on European imports over the past four years, with Trump claiming unfair barriers against American firms trying to compete on continental markets.


Rouhani: Who wins US election not important for Iran

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has repeated his country’s stance on the US presidential race, saying it is not important who wins but what actions the next president takes towards sanctions on Iran.

“What is important for us is that America returns to respecting the Iranian nation. We want respect instead of sanctions, no matter who is [in office]. If he lifts the unfair and illegal sanctions and replaces them with respect, then our situation will be different,” Rouhani said in a televised speech.


German minister warns of ‘very explosive situation’ in US

German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer warns the US is facing a “very explosive situation” and a possible systemic crisis after Trump prematurely declared election victory.

Following Trump’s remarks that he will go to the Supreme Court to stop ballots from being tallied, Kramp-Karrenbauer told public broadcaster ZDF: “This election has not been decided … votes are still being counted.”

She said Trump could create “a constitutional crisis in the USA”, calling such a scenario “something that must deeply concern us”.


What might happen if US election result is disputed?

Despite incomplete results from several battleground states that could determine the outcome of the US presidential race, Trump prematurely claimed victory over Biden.

The move confirmed worries that Trump would seek to dispute the election results.

Read more here about the different ways the election can be contested.


Why AP has not called Wisconsin

The Associated Press news agency has not declared a winner in Wisconsin’s presidential contest because the race between Trump and Biden is too early to call.

Trump, who is locked in a tight battle with Biden to secure the 270 electoral votes needed to win, prematurely claimed early on Wednesday that he was “winning” the state.

Biden is ahead of Trump by fewer than 8,000 votes out of nearly 3.2 million cast.


Gold retreats as close White House race lifts dollar

Gold fell more than 1 percent as the dollar emerged as the favoured safe haven from a much closer presidential race than investors expected following Trump’s strong performance in some swing states.

Spot gold fell 1.1 percent to $1,887.76 an ounce by 11:02 GMT. US gold futures dropped 1.2 percent to $1,888.

The dollar rose 0.2 percent against major currencies.


In China, bemusement and scorn over unresolved US election

Chinese social media users watched election day in the US with bemusement and mockery, as Trump complained of a “major fraud on our nation” and prematurely claimed victory.

“Whether he wins or loses, his final mission is to destroy the appearance of American democracy,” one user on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform wrote.

“Let Trump be re-elected and take the US downhill,” another wrote.

Relations between China and the US are at their worst in decades over disputes ranging from technology and trade to Hong Kong and the coronavirus, and the Trump administration has unleashed a barrage of sanctions against Beijing.


Biden campaign manager: Trump’s statement ‘outrageous’

Biden’s campaign manager called Trump’s call for vote counting to stop “outrageous, unprecedented, and incorrect”.

“It was outrageous because it is a naked effort to take away the democratic rights of American citizens,” said Biden’s campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon.

“It was unprecedented because never before in our history has a president of the United States sought to strip Americans of their voice in a national election.

“And it was incorrect because it will not happen. The counting will not stop. It will continue until every duly cast vote is counted.”


The AP is not calling the presidential race yet

The AP news agency issued a bulletin saying it is not calling the presidential race yet, despite Trump’s claims of victory, because neither candidate has secured the 270 electoral college votes needed to win.

Speaking from the White House at 02:30 ET, Trump said: “Frankly, we did win this election.”

The president said he would go to the Supreme Court to stop the counting of mail ballots.

“His assertion of victory does not match the results and information currently available to the AP,” the news service reported.

Several key states are too early to call, including Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan the agency said.


Democrat Mark Kelly wins Arizona Senate seat

Al Jazeera’s Patrick Strickland has sent this report from Tucson, Arizona.

Democrat Mark Kelly has won a US Senate seat for Arizona, beating Republican Martha McSally for the seat once held by Senator John McCain, who died in August 2018.

“Tonight is not about celebrating, tonight is about getting to work,” Kelly told a small crowd in Tucson earlier in the evening.

He spoke about the hardships Arizonans have faced owing to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, saying many small businesses are in peril in the southwest state.

[AFP]
The Democrat leader said he would strive for policies to set back Trump’s crackdown on immigration, lowering healthcare costs and the need to “rebuild the economy – and it’s going to be a massive undertaking”.

A centrist Democrat and former astronaut, Kelly first opened a large lead over McSally as the vote counting got under way in the southwest state.

 


The AP calls Maine in favour of Joe Biden


North Carolina still too close to call

Al Jazeera’s Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath has sent this report from Raleigh, North Carolina.

At 2:30am (07:30 GMT), the presidential race in North Carolina was still too close to call.

Trump was leading Biden by about 76,700 votes, with 95 percent of expected votes counted.

According to the State Board of Elections, roughly 117,000 absentee ballots have not yet been returned.

Those ballots, if postmarked by Election Day, can still be counted if they arrive by November 12.

The close race did not stop Trump from prematurely declaring “a big win in North Carolina” during televised remarks early on Wednesday morning.


US Senate race

Democrat Mark Kelly defeats Republican Senator Martha McSally in Arizona’s US Senate race, according to the AP news agency.


Democrats win in Arizona, flipping Republican state to Biden

Democratic presidential Biden and senate candidate Kelly have been declared the winners in Arizona, according to the AP news agency.

The win gives Biden 11 votes in the Electoral College that Trump had won in 2016.

🇺🇸 Biden wins Arizona 🗳️ Live results 👉 https://aje.io/c33ha

Posted by Al Jazeera English on Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Cindy McCain, the widow of late Senator John McCain, a Republican, had endorsed Biden.

Biden got strong support from voters in the Phoenix area, Maricopa County, where the majority of the state’s population resides.

Read more here


Trump declares premature victory

President Trump prematurely claims victory in the presidential election, before vote counting has ended, and suggested Democrats were engaged in fraud as key states continued to count hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots.

“This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to this country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election,” Trump said in remarks from the White House.

[Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]
Trump claimed he is winning in key states – Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin – that have just begun to count mail ballots likely to favour Biden.

Read more here


US Senate race

Republican Senator Steve Daines defeats Democrat Steve Bullock in Montana’s US Senate race, according to the AP news agency.


US Senate race

Democratic US Senator Tina Smith defeats Republican Jason Lewis in Minnesota’s US Senate race, according to the AP.


AP is calling the state of Texas for Trump

Trump has won Texas and its 38 electoral votes.

🇺🇸 Trump wins Texas. 🗳️ Live results 👉 https://aje.io/mknal

Posted by Al Jazeera English on Tuesday, November 3, 2020


Ilhan Omar wins re-election to US House of Representatives

Omar has won a second term in the Congress Minnesota’s 5th congressional district in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Rep. Ilhan Omar wins re-election to US House of Representatives. The trail-blazing Muslim, Somali American leader is known for advocating liberal issues and taking on President Trump http://aje.io/4zbfy

Posted by Al Jazeera English on Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Omar, 38, defeated her Republican challenger, African American businessman Lacy Johnson, by 64.6 percent of the vote to 25.9 percent, according to the AP news agency with 99 percent of votes counted.

Read more here

 


From Al Jazeera White House producer Chris Sheridan


Trump accuses Democrats of trying to steal election

Trump, in a tweet, has made unfounded accusations that the Democrats would attempt to “steal” the election from him, without citing any evidence. He also predicted a “big” win for himself.

Twitter labelled his tweet as making a “potentially misleading claim about an election”.
Trump’s tweets came immediately after a statement from Biden, who said he was optimistic about his prospects of winning.


Biden believes he is ‘on track to win’

Biden spoke from Delaware shortly after midnight, saying he is optimistic he is going to win the US presidential election.

“We knew this was going to go long … but look, we feel good about where we are. We believe we are on track to win this election,” Biden said.

“It ain’t over ‘til every vote is counted, every ballot is counted.

“We are confident about Arizona … We’re also just calling for Minnesota and we are still in the game in Georgia … And we are feeling really good about Wisconsin and Michigan … We are going to win in Pennsylvania. Keep the faith guys, we are going to win this.”

 

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to supporters early Wednesday morning from Wilmington, Delaware [Paul Sancya/The Associated Press]

Trump says he will make a statement tonight

Shortly after Biden gave an election night speech, Trump tweeted he would speak tonight.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1323864021167198209


Florida called for Trump

Florida and its 29 electoral votes were a must-win for Trump. If he wound up losing there, it would have significantly narrowed his path to 270 electoral votes.

Early indications are that Trump, although losing Miami-Dade, the most populous county in Florida, improved his vote total there, from 2016. Florida political experts are crediting Trump’s improvement with Cuban American voters in Miami-Dade with helping him to victory.

At the beginning of the evening, we listed Florida as one of the “super seven” states that if Biden flipped early on, it would have signalled a potentially clear path for him. The other six states on that list – Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Arizona and Iowa – are still too close to call. Biden’s clear path is much muddier now after Florida lands in Trump’s column.

Our analysis still holds true: If Biden can win two of those six, especially two large states, it makes it that much more difficult for Trump to hit 270. But given the close counts in those other states, as well as the other Trump 2016 states – Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – we are in for an extremely long night or, perhaps, another long day tomorrow waiting for final results.

Read more here


Montana and Iowa called for Trump

The AP has called Montana and Iowa for the Republican Party, giving Donald Trump 9 more electoral votes.


Ohio called for Trump

The AP has called Ohio for the Republican Party, giving Trump 18 electoral votes.


Biden to speak as election results continue to roll in

Biden is set to speak at 00:30 ET from Wilmington, Delaware, according to his campaign.


Trump team feeling optimistic, Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett reports

While key Democratic-leaning cities like Detroit, Michigan and Philadelphia have halted counting, Trump’s team “have started to feel optimistic given the fact that they went into this knowing that Joe Biden had a substantial lead”.


‘Deep breath’: Pennsylvania continues tallying ballots

Al Jazeera’s Hilary Beaumont filed this report from Pennsylvania

On Election Night, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said counting the state’s millions of ballots will take time and asked voters to be patient. Voters returned a record-breaking 2.5 million mail ballots across the state, but by law, it could not start counting them until the morning of Election Day.

“Counting that tremendous number of ballots will, again, take longer than we’re used to, but the extra time is just there because we want to make sure our election system is working and that each and every vote is counted,” Wolf said.

“We may not know the results today, as a result, but I encourage all of us to take a deep breath and, as I’ve been saying, just be patient. What’s most important is that we have accurate results and that every vote is counted, even if that takes a little longer.”

By midnight local time, about 50 percent of Pennsylvania’s votes had been counted and Trump was ahead in the race.

An election worker opens mail-in and absentee ballots for the 2020 General Election in West Chester, Pennsylvania [Matt Slocum/The Associated Press]

Minnesota called for Biden

The AP news agency has called Minnesota for the Democratic Party, giving Biden 10 more electoral votes.


Hawaii called for Biden

The AP news agency has called Hawaii for the Democratic Party, giving Biden four more electoral votes.


Arizona could be first surprise, Al Jazeera’s Rob Reynolds reports

Reynolds, reporting from Los Angeles, says Arizona could be one of the surprises of the night.

“It has not been called yet, but it’s looking good for Joe Biden,” Reynolds said. “And this is extraordinary because Arizona is formerly a rock-ribbed Republican state … it hasn’t gone for a Democratic President since … 1996.”


Kenosha Republicans gather to watch results

Al Jazeera’s Cinnamon Janzer filed this report from Kenosha, Wisconsin

As polls close in Wisconsin, a local pizzeria is ground zero for Kenosha’s Republicans.

Complete with Fox News streaming across two televisions and a cardboard cutout of the president at the door, a long table filled with various pies bisects the mask-less crowd watching the earliest results roll in.

Sheila Dissmore, 57, opted to vote in person on Tuesday.

“Being a full-blown patriot, I feel like it’s just extra special voting on [election] day,” she says. “Just seeing how raw and unedited the president I think is refreshing.”

Living on Kenosha’s south side with her 92-year-old father through the pandemic, this summer’s civil unrest caused Dissmore to double down on her Republican beliefs.

“For the first time in my life, having to lock my door, close the shutters, close everything, turn the drapes and having my father there – I’m not a gun owner, but I wish I was.”

Sheila Dissmore and Kristine R attend a pro-Trump watch party [Cinnamon Janzer/Al Jazeera]

Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith defeats Democratic challenger: AP

Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith has defeated Democrat Mike Espy in Mississippi’s Senate race, according to the AP news agency.


Georgia special US Senate election set for January runoff

Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock will advance to a runoff in Georgia’s special US Senate election, the AP projects.

Since no candidate in the 21-candidate field received 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters will face off on January 5, with the winner being sworn in immediately thereafter.

It is projected Loeffler edged out Republican US Representative Doug Collins to land in the top two.

This is significant in that the Republicans’ Senate majority may hang in the balance until January if neither is able to claim a majority after the rest of tonight’s races are projected.

 


Biden final strategy did not include North Carolina

Worth noting as we wait for the final projection on too-close-to-call North Carolina: Biden had not visited the state since October 18, making it one of the few key battlegrounds where he did not campaign in the final sprint.

His running mate Kamala Harris did make four stops over two days in that period.

For his part, Trump made five visits to North Carolina between October 21 and Election Day.

Voters at a polling place in North Carolina. The day was the last day of in-person early voting in North Carolina [Brian Blanco/AFP]

More Senate results come in: AP

Republican Roger Marshall has defeated Democrat Barbara Bollier in Kansas’s Senate race.

Republican Senator James Risch has defeated Democrat Paulette Jordan in Idaho’s Senate race.

Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley has defeated Republican Jo Rae Perkins in Oregon’s Senate race.


Utah called for Trump

The AP has called Utah for the Republican Party, giving Donald Trump six more electoral votes.


New Hampshire called for Biden

AP has called New Hampshire for the Democratic Party, giving Joe Biden four more electoral votes.


Idaho called for Trump

The AP calls Idaho for the Republican Party, giving Trump four more electoral votes.


California, Oregon and Washington called for Biden

The AP has called California, Oregon and Washington state for the Democratic Party, giving Biden 74 more electoral votes.


Last polls close on continental US

It is 23:00 ET (04:00 GMT) and the last polls have closed in California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.


No serious voting issues in Pennsylvania

Al Jazeera’s Hilary Beaumont has sent this report

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said there have been no serious voting issues in the state.

“I’m happy to report that today’s election in the Commonwealth went remarkably smoothly,” she told reporters. “We have no major or widespread events to report … No reports of violence at any polling places today,” Boockvar added. “There were a few reports of voters feeling intimidated that were resolved by calls to the counties.”

Overall, Boockvar said her team at the voter information hotline answered 5,000 calls, mostly standard issues such as late-opening polls and lines at some polling stations.

Other reported issues included: an individual accidentally shooting himself in Northampton County and then driving himself to the hospital; a volunteer with the Pennsylvania Democrats being shot with a paintball gun from a moving vehicle. Boockvar said this happened right before the polls closed, without elaborating. Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union brought a lawsuit on behalf of Spanish-speaking voters who were not provided language access in York, Pennsylvania.

The final two people stand in line to vote after a long wait at a polling station at Northeastern Middle School in Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania [Julio Cortez/The Associated Press]

Texas not called quickly, Al Jazeera’s Heidi Zhou-Castro reports

Texas “is still pretty close”, Zhou-Castro reported from Houston, Texas.

“Normally by this time of night on election night pundits would have called Texas already for the Republican candidate,” She said “[But the fact that] votes are coming in and Joe Biden is still within reach of overtaking Trump … is making headlines in the state.”


Why are results taking so long?


Missouri called for Trump

The AP has called Missouri for the Republican Party, giving Trump 10 more electoral votes.


Trump appears ahead in key battleground Florida, Al Jazeera’s Andy Gallacher reports

“This state plays a huge role in presidential elections … Donald Trump looks like he is forging ahead in this state potentially with an even wider lead than he had over Hillary Clinton,” Gallacher reported from Miami Florida.

“Donald Trump really does need to win this, the largest of all the battleground states, with 29 electoral college votes.”

He added that Biden “has other options to the White House including places like Ohio, North Carolina, Wisconsin, but at the moment we are getting pretty close to this state being called.”

“There is some pressure now from the Trump campaign for officials to call it, and they already tweeted out ‘Trump has won Florida’, but that is not official yet … [but] it does look like Donald Trump may take Florida which is what he actually needs to do,” he said.

Hazel Martinez holds 4-year-old Leonardo Perez after she voted on Election Day in Poinciana, Florida [Joe Skipper/Reuters]

Republican Tommy Tuberville flips Democratic US Senate seat: AP

Not unexpectedly, Republican Tommy Tuberville has been projected as the winner of the US Senate race in Alabama, defeating Doug Jones.

Tuberville, a former college football coach, was significantly outraised by Jones, but Alabama is a deeply Republican state and the outcome wasn’t in question.

Jones won a special election in 2017 to replace Republican Jeff Sessions, who resigned his seat to become Trump’s attorney general. Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore, who had faced allegations of sexual misconduct.

Moore ran against Tuberville and others in the Republican primary this year, but to the relief of Republicans, Tuberville won the nomination setting them on the path to reclaim the seat.

Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville has beat Democratic incumbent Doug Jones [File: Butch Dill/The Associated Press]

US voters with COVID-19 cast their ballots curbside in Missouri


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wins second term in US House

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been re-elected for a second term in the US House of Representatives.

The rising star in the Democratic Party was easily re-elected in New York’s 14th congressional district. Ocasio-Cortez made history in 2018 as the youngest woman elected to Congress in US history at the age of 28, championing her working-class and Puerto Rican roots. She is the daughter of a cleaner and a father who died in his 40s.

Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the so-called “Squad” of four freshman progressive Democratic congresswomen that includes Rashida Tlaib from Detroit, Ilhan Omar from Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley from Boston.

The four represent a new emerging faction of young, progressive politicians who are pushing the established House leadership of the Democratic Party.

 

US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has won reelection [Andrew Kelly/Reuters]

Lindsey Graham wins Senate re-election: AP

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham survived a re-election scare defeating well-funded Democrat Jaime Harrison.

Democrats were extremely encouraged by the polls last month showing Harrison making the race much more competitive than expected in deeply Republican South Carolina.

But pro-Trump Graham, who as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee shepherded Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, was able to pull out a victory tonight.

Senator Lindsey Graham has beaten the Democratic challenger in South Carolina [Kevin Dietsch/The Associated Press]

Kansas called for Trump

The AP has called Kansas for the Republican Party giving Trump six more electoral votes.


Polls close in Montana, Utah, Nevada and Iowa

It is 22:00 ET (03:00GMT) and the polls have closed in Montana, Utah, Nevada and Iowa.


Democrats pick up their first Senate seat from Republicans

Democrat John Hickenlooper defeated Republican Senator Cory Gardner in Colorado’s US Senate race, according to a projection from the Associated Press news agency.

This is the first Republican Senate seat picked up by the Democrats tonight in their quest to take control of the Senate.

Currently, Republicans have a 53-47 majority. Democrats need to net three seats to take over the Senate if Joe Biden wins the presidency, or four if Trump wins. The vice president is the tie-breaking vote and if Biden wins, Kamala Harris would be the tiebreaker in a 50-50 Senate.

If Trump wins, Mike Pence would be the tie-breaking vote if the Senate ends up 50-50.

Democratic former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has defeated the Republican incumbent Senator in the state [Hyoung Chang/The Associated Press]

All quiet in Biden camp

“There is silence out of the Biden camp at the moment,” said Al Jazeera’s Mike Hanna from Wilmington, Delaware. “All are simply watching the results and the ongoing analysis of what is happening, but nobody is breaking cover at the moment, the situation is so close, so absolutely tense in a number of states, that nobody wants to come up and make any calls at this particular point in time.”

“Joe Biden said it very clearly early on in the afternoon that when he got something to say, he will come out and he will say it and very clearly this instruction has gone down to his staff, we heard very little from the Biden campaign headquarters… We understand that Joe Biden himself is still at his home here in Wilmington, Delaware in a few hours time he will come to the convention centre with his vice president nominee Kamala Harris,” he said.


Colorado called for Biden

The AP has called Colorado for the Democratic Party, giving Biden nine more electoral votes.


Pennsylvania girds for long count

Al Jazeera’s Kristen Saloomey, reporting from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said the state is in for a long count.

“The polls have only just closed in Pennsylvania and in addition to all of the ballots that were cast today, the state now has to count some two and a half million mail-in ballots, and that is only just beginning that process … which can only begin on election day by Pennsylvania law,” she said.

“So this could take a while, officials are predicting it might be before the end of the week before we have really clear results, but it’s interesting to point out that Democrats returned nearly three times as many mail-in ballots as Republicans did that’s maybe why President Trump has been very worried about those mail-in ballots,” she said. “He has been attempting to discredit or delegitimise those mail-in ballots, so we had an issue earlier in the day where a judge expressed concern about some missing mail-in ballots and has ordered about two dozens mail processing centres to be searched for possible missing ballots.”


‘AU calls on Americans to remain calm’: Best #ElectionDay tweets

People across the United States have voted in one of the most polarising presidential elections in the country’s history – and the race is also playing out on social media.

The #Vote2020 and #ElectionDay hashtags are trending in most countries on Twitter, as the world closely follows the hard-fought matchup between Trump and Biden on Tuesday.

Read more here.

 


Washington, DC called for Biden

The AP has called the District of Columbia for the Democratic Party, giving Biden three more electoral votes.


Pennsylvania governor says vote count will take longer than normal

The governor of Pennsylvania has confirmed the vote count in the battleground state will take longer than expected, amid a surge in mail-in voting.

Pennsylvania does not start counting mail voting until Election Day and will accept ballots postmarked by November 3 for three days after. Some districts have said they will not start counting mail votes until Wednesday morning.


Hundreds ‘march to the polls’ in Graham, North Carolina

Al Jazeera’s Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath has sent this report from Graham, North Carolina

The message on Election Night in Graham, where police pepper-sprayed protesters just three days before, was one of outrage and urgency – but also of hope and love.

Led by Reverend Greg Drumwright, hundreds of people from across North Carolina marched quietly several blocks to two polling locations, before making their way to the central square, where a Confederate monument stands.

“In the absence of hope, what do we have?” Drumwright told the crowd as they raised their fists in the air.

“Therefore we cling to hope tonight,” he added. “I want you to cling to change tonight; I want you to believe that this is a shifting and a turning and a dawning of a new area; that things will not stay the same; that white supremacy will come down; that racism will come down; that love will be lifted up.”

The marchers’ cheers drowned out the taunting by a small group of counterprotesters who gathered with confederate and Trump flags across the square.

Thousands ‘march to the polls’ in Graham, North Carolina [Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath/Al Jazeera] (Al Jazeera)

30 Nevada polling stations to stay open an hour later

A judge in Nevada has ordered 30 Las Vegas-area voting sites to stay open for an extra hour tonight after a lawsuit was filed by Trump’s campaign and state Republicans.

They had argued that 22 polling places did not open on time, and wanted the time extended. Lawyers for Democrats then requested that eight additional sites also stay open later.

The judge granted both requests and said anyone in line at 8pm local time (04:00 GMT) would be allowed to cast a ballot.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada shared a list of the Clark County polling sites that will stay open later.


More Senate results come in: AP

Republican US Senator Ben Sasse has defeated Democrat Chris Janicek in Nebraska’s US Senate race.

Republican US Senator Mike Rounds has defeated Democrat Daniel Ahlers in South Dakota’s US Senate race.

Republican Cynthia Lummis has defeated Democrat Merav Ben-David in Wyoming’s US Senate race.


Trump claims 21 more electoral votes

The AP has called Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming for the Republican Party, giving Trump 21 more electoral votes.


New Mexico, New York called for Biden

The AP has called New Mexico and New York for the Democratic Party, giving Biden 34 more electoral votes.


Polls close in more states

It is 21:00 ET (02:00 GMT) and the polls have closed in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming.


Al Jazeera’s Patrick Strickland filed this report from Glendale, Arizona

Early on Tuesday afternoon voters came in and out of Glendale Community College, not spending more than a few minutes inside the polling station.

Glendale, 18km (11 miles) northwest of downtown Phoenix, sits in Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous county.

Volunteers instructed voters where to go as they arrived at the community college’s student union. “Thank you for voting,” the volunteers said as voters left.

By 16:00 ET (23:00 GMT), a line had formed outside the college, although the polling station remained calm throughout the afternoon.

Blake Spanko, 22, wore a “Keep America Great – Trump 2020” hat and said he also voted for Trump in 2016.

“I voted for him in 2016 just because he’s a smart businessman,” he told Al Jazeera. “I figured if he can make billions of dollars he can run a country successfully – and I think he did that.”

Describing himself as a “traditional Christian”, Spanko said abortion was another important issue that drove him to cast his vote for Trump again.

Voters line up in Glendale, AZ [Patrick Strickland/Al Jazeera]
“I think [Arizona] will stay red,” Spanko added when asked whether he believed the battleground state could give its 11 electoral votes to a Democratic nominee for the first time since 1996.

Another voter Michael, who declined to share his surname, said he voted “against Trump” whom he feels has spread hatred. “I definitely am against hatred and I was raised to be kind,” he said.

Speaking to Al Jazeera by telephone, Democratic legislator Cesar Chavez, who represents legislative district 29 in the Arizona House of Representatives, said his party was confident it would outperform Republicans on Tuesday.

“I don’t think we’ve felt any better than we do,” he said. “Really, this is a work in progress for the last 50 years.”

In the parking lot outside Glendale Community College, pro-Trump activists handed out fliers that said “Keep America Great – 2020” and signs reading “Latinos for Trump”.


Indiana called for Trump

The AP called Indiana for the Republican Party, giving Trump 11 more electoral votes.


Iranian American Sima Ladjevardian loses congressional race

Iranian American progressive Sima Ladjevardian has lost her congressional race with staunchly conservative House Republican Dan Crenshaw, according to The Associated Press news agency.

Ladjevardian had garnered national attention while encapsulating the shifting demographics in the one-time Republican bastion of Texas.

Crenshaw and Ladjevardian were competing to represent the state’s 2nd congressional district, which includes parts of Houston.

Ladjevardian was born in Iran and immigrated to the United States as a child. She is running to represent Texas’s 2nd congressional district.

Read more here.

Congressman Dan Crenshaw has defeated Democratic challenger Sima Ladjevardian

Arkansas called for Trump

The AP calls Arkansas for the Republican Party, giving Trump six more electoral votes.


Republican Senator Tom Cotton wins in Arkansas

Republican Senator Tom Cotton wins Arkansas’ Senate race, according to The Associated Press news agency.

US Senator Tom Cotton speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee nomination hearing for Ratcliffe on Capitol Hill [Gabriella Demczuk/Reuters]

Former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway tells US broadcaster ABC News that several hundred people will be at the White House and that President Trump will address the nation “tonight” from the East Room.


Battleground update

While several non-competitive states have been called already, winners have not been projected yet in any of the competitive battleground states whose polls have closed.

Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania are all too close to call, per the Associated Press news agency. Trump won all but New Hampshire in 2016. And there are some signs in the exit polls and the vote count that show some early positive signs for Trump and Biden in different states.

In Florida, Trump is keeping Biden’s margin of victory down in Miami-Dade, the state’s most populous county.

In North Carolina and Ohio, exit polls suggest Biden is receiving more support among suburban voters than Trump did in 2016.

The Associated Press, which is one of several US media organization making calls, waits until a significant number of votes have been counted, while also analysing exit polling data, in competitive states before they make projections.

[Alia Chughtai/Al Jazeera]

North Carolina Trump supporters: ‘He’s one of the most pro-life presidents we’ve had’

Al Jazeera’s Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath filed this report from New Hanover County 

Trump supporters in North Carolina were energised at polling stations across the beach town of Wilmington. They were confident New Hanover County, where Wilmington is located, and the state will go red.

“Trump has done a lot,” Char Marker said. “He’s done a lot of things to tackle our child sex trafficking problem that we have, which is huge to me.

“I am a pro-life voter. And, you know, Trump has been one of the most pro-life presidents we’ve had yet. They say Trump is kind of like a party of his own. And if that’s the case, I’m in that party.”

Across town, 22-year-old Brandon Panameno said he voted for Trump because he is not the “typical politician”.

“The economy has been doing well” under Trump, he said. “I think he has a pretty good chance of winning again.”

North Carolina resident Char Marker said she voted for Trump [Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath/Al Jazeera]

Rural Kenosha supports Trump, with exceptions

Al Jazeera’s Cinnamon Janzer has sent this report from rural Kenosha county, Wisconsin

In rural Kenosha, Trump signs abound but not everyone is on board. In the village of Bristol, in central Kenosha county, a short line of voters are waiting to enter Bristol Village Hall where voting booths are delineated by yellow and orange traffic cones strung together with yellow rope.

Tony Chacon, who moved to Bristol nine years ago from Kenosha, had just completed voting. “It’s better over here on this side of the Interstate. I feel a lot safer,” the 26-year-old said.

“I’m in trade work so I’m big on keeping work in the United States,” he told Al Jazeera of his decision to vote for Trump. “He’s a businessman … someone who knows how money moves and how to move it,” said Chacon.

For him, when Biden was vice president, “things were getting rough when it comes to prices of fuel.” He added that ultimately “our choices aren’t really the best” before turning to greet fellow Bristol resident, Brian Chwaszczewski, 33, who had also just voted.

While he was reluctant to name the candidate he voted for, Chwaszczewski did say that “being out here in more of a rural area, I’m sure there [are] plenty of Trump supporters. I just wanted to kind of not support that.” He feels like something of an outlier in his community. “It’s Trump signs everywhere,” he said, as darkness set in.

Voters proceed to cast their ballot at the Moose Lodge on in Kenosha, Wisconsin [Wong Maye-E/The Associated Press]

Senate races called: AP

Democratic Senator Chris Coons defeated Republican Lauren Witzke in Delaware’s Senate race.

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin defeated Republican Mark Curran in Illinois’ Senate race.

Democratic Senator Ed Markey defeated Republican Kevin O’Connor in Massachusetts’ Senate race.

Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen defeated Republican Corky Messner in New Hampshire’s Senate race.

Democratic Senator Cory Booker defeated Republican Rik Mehta in New Jersey’s Senate race.

Democratic Senator Jack Reed defeats Republican Allen Waters in Rhode Island’s Senate race.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wins re-election

Republican Senator Mitch McConnell has defeated Democrat Amy McGrath in Kentucky’s US Senate race, according to the AP news agency.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has won re-election, according to the AP [Erin Scott/Reuters]

Biden takes 69 electoral votes: AP

The AP has called for the Democratic Party, giving Biden 69 electoral votes.


Trump takes 33 more electoral votes: AP

The AP calls Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee for the Republican Party, giving Trump 33 electoral votes.


Polls close in several eastern states

It is 20:00 ET (01:00 GMT) and the polls have closed in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Washington, DC.


South Carolina called for Trump

The AP calls South Carolina for the Republican Party, giving Trump 9 electoral votes.


Polls close in battleground North Carolina

Al Jazeera’s Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath filed this report from Wilmington, North Carolina 
Polls started to close in North Carolina where voters from both parties expressed optimism all day.
Michael Master said he was hopeful Trump would pull out another victory in the state.

“As a person, Trump puts Americans first,” Master said at a polling location in Wilmington. “And he puts especially the average American worker first.”

Across the parking lot, Biden supporter Nick Rhodes said he was confident Biden would win.

“We need to bring our country back together in terms of getting rid of division, and start embracing science and start bringing people together because we cannot have another four years of this,” he said.

A handful of precincts in the state will stay open later because of delayed openings. We are expecting to see results from early and absentee voting to start rolling in within the next hour. In-person results will follow later this evening.

Biden supporter Nick Rhodes [Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath/Al Jazeera]

Trump campaign files lawsuit to extend voting in Las Vegas

The Trump campaign and Nevada Republicans are asking a state court judge to extend voting by one hour at 22 Las Vegas-area polling locations, according to the Associated Press news agency and Nevada Independent newspaper

An Election Day lawsuit filed in Clark County claims the 22 voting locations did not open on time. It was getting an immediate hearing before Judge Joe Hardy.

“If immediate action is not taken, appellants will never have the opportunity to vindicate their rights,” attorneys for the two groups wrote in the filing. “More troubling, Nevadans – and the rest of the country – will be left wondering whether the results of the election are legitimate.”

Election officials keep sites open until the last person in line at closing time can vote. Polling places in Nevada are scheduled to close at 22:00 ET (02:00 GMT).


Why Florida matters

All polls will close in the battleground state of Florida at 20:00 ET (01:00 GMT)

Here is why the state is so significant.

 


Virginia called for Biden

The AP news agency calls Virginia for the Democratic Party, giving Biden 13 electoral votes.

Voters cast their ballots in Midlothian, Virginia [Steve Helber/The Associated Press]

The ‘super’ seven states to watch tonight

A helpful road map, if you want to figure out how election night is going to shape up, is to keep an eye on seven states’ results, which we will dub the “super” seven.

If Biden can win early on any of the following states that Trump won in 2016, it could indicate a positive evening for him. If Trump holds them, that will likely delay a projection of an overall winner.

Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas are the states that are expected to count votes fairly efficiently and, if there’s a clear winner, are expected to be projected for one of the two candidates.

If Biden picks up one, assuming he also wins all of the states Hillary Clinton won in 2016, he will be well on his way to 270 votes, as it will be a state flipped from Republican to Democrat. If he picks up two, that makes things even clearer and puts Biden well down the path to a potential win.

Note that other key Trump states – Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania – are not part of that list. Those states are expected to count their votes much more slowly and if Trump holds onto the other seven, will factor into many more hours, if not days, of waiting for a winner to be projected.

Alia Chughtai/Al Jazeera (Al Jazeera)

 


AP: Republican US Senator Shelley Moore Capito defeats Democrat in West Virginia

Republican Moore has defeated Democrat Paula Jean Swearengin in West Virginia’s US Senate race.


West Virginia called

The AP calls West Virginia for the Republican Party, giving Trump five electoral votes.



Polls close in North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia

It is 19:30 ET (00:30 GMT) and polls have closed in North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia.


Exit poll: Biden running strong among key Georgia voter groups

Biden is outperforming Hillary Clinton among key voters in Georgia, according to exit polls from The Associated Press news agency.

Suburban voters, who Trump won by five points in 2016, are backing Biden by double digits in this year’s exit polls. Among suburban women, Biden has the support of six in 10 of them.

Turnout among Black voters has kept pace with 2016, as they make up approximately three in 10 voters this year. Biden has also kept pace with Hillary Clinton, with nine in 10 Black voters saying they support Biden.

If Biden is to flip Georgia to the Democrats for the first time since 1992, he will need robust turnout from Black voters and a strong showing among suburban voters.

Georgia’s polls closed at 19:00 ET (00:00 GMT), but The Associated Press news agency has not called the race as of yet.

The AP exit poll surveyed more than 106,000 voters over eight days, including Election Day. The margin of error is +/-0.4 percent.

Amanda Kines-Phillips and her daughter Preslei Phillips vote at the Grady County Agriculture Center in Cairo, Georgia [Mark Wallheiser/AFP]

What time do polls close in your US state?

Despite the US witnessing a record number of early votes in the presidential election, tens of millions of American voters headed to polling stations across the country on Tuesday.

Polls began closing in the United States at 18:00 Eastern Standard Time (23:00 GMT) and closing times vary by state.

Find out when the polls close in each state here.


Democrat Mark Warner defeats Republican challenger in Virginia: AP

Democratic US Senator Mark Warner defeats Republican Daniel Gade in Virginia’s US Senate race, according to AP.


Vermont called for Biden

The AP calls Vermont for the Democratic Party, giving Biden three electoral votes.


Kentucky called for Trump

The AP calls Kentucky for the Republican Party, giving Trump eight electoral votes.


Polls close in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Virginia and Vermont

It is 19:00 ET (00:00 GMT) and the polls have closed in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Virginia and Vermont.

Voters fill ballots at the Kentucky Exposition Center during the election in Louisville, Kentucky[Bryan Woolston/Reuters]

What are swing states?

Swing states, also known as battleground states, will have an outsize influencing in deciding the next president of the US.

Watch our one-minute explainer on why.


Racial justice on minds of US voters

Racial justice is one of several big issues on the minds of US voters today, as the country for months has seen mass protests demanding an end to systemic racism and police violence against Black people.

Janelle King, a Republican strategist, defended US President Donald Trump, saying he has helped the Black community by tackling unemployment and funding various programmes, such as historically Black colleges and universities.

“He provided the Black community with policies,” she told Al Jazeera.

But Derrick Plummer, a Democratic strategist, said it is false to say that Trump has done a lot to help the Black community.

“When you had peaceful African Americans, Black people, in the streets saying that we want to end systemic racism, we have a president that doesn’t even think systemic racism is real,” he told Al Jazeera.

Voters fill out their ballot in the Bronx borough of New York City [David Dee Delgado/AFP]

Exit poll: Majority of US voters unhappy with country’s direction

Voters are quite unhappy with the direction of the country and how the federal government is working, according to The Associated Press news agency’s VoteCast data.

About three-quarters of voters said they are dissatisfied or angry with the way the government is working and six in 10 say they are unhappy with the direction of the country.

Voters wait in line outside a polling centre in Kenosha, Wisconsin [Wong Maye-E/The Associated Press]

Trump tweets ‘we’re looking really good all over the country’

Trump has tweeted “we’re looking really good all over the country”.

“Thank you,” the president tweeted shortly after the first polling places, in parts of Indiana and Kentucky, closed on Election Day.

Indications on who is ahead in preliminary state results are expected to take hours.


First polls close

The first polls have closed on Election Day in Indiana and Kentucky.

Polls closed in parts of the two states that lie within the Eastern Time zone, but those within the Central Time zone will remain open for an additional hour.

Both states are considered Republican bastions, but results are not expected to begin coming in until later Tuesday.

Voters wait in a line to cast their ballot at a polling place in Indianapolis, Tuesday, November 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

 


Strong voter turnout ‘gives me hope’, says Rashida Tlaib

With only a few hours before polls close in Michigan on Election Day, Rashida Tlaib said she is optimistic she will be heading back to Washington, DC.

An outspoken progressive, the Palestinian American legislator is up for re-election in the 13th District of Michigan – a Democratic stronghold that she is almost certain to carry.

She says strong voter turnout so far in the US elections is very encouraging.

“I’ve not, in all the years I’ve run for office, seen lines like this,” Tlaib told Al Jazeera, crediting the crowds in part to a desire to vote President Donald Trump out of office.

“[It] gives me hope that the turnout is going to be high enough where it’s very clear that Donald Trump is not wanted as the president of the United States any more.”

Read more here.

Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib says she gets a sense of hope from seeing so many people casting their ballots in the US elections [Rebecca Cook/Reuters]

FBI investigating robocalls urging people to ‘stay home’ on Election Day

The FBI and the New York attorney general were looking into a spate of mysterious robocalls urging people to stay home on Election Day as the nation remains on high alert to ensure voting is not compromised, according to the Reuters news agency.

US state and local officials have been raising the alarm over at least two separate automated call campaigns as millions of Americans cast their votes on Tuesday to decide between Trump and Biden. Experts who spoke to Reuters say they are mystified by the most prominent robocalling campaign, which has been running for months and tells people to remain home but does not explicitly mention voting.

“There’s a little bit of confusion about this one across the industry,” said Giulia Porter, vice president at RoboKiller, a company that fights telemarketers and robocalls and has been tracking the campaign.

Audio of the calls, which RoboKiller shared with Reuters, features a synthetic female voice saying: “Hello. This is just a test call. Time to stay home. Stay safe and stay home.”

Porter said the call had been placed millions of times in the past 11 months or so but had on Tuesday shot up to number 5 or number 6 in the list of top spam calls. A Department of Homeland Security official said the Federal Bureau of Investigation was investigating the calls. The FBI said only that it was aware of reports of robocalls and had no further comment.


Biden optimistic

Biden made a couple of last-minute campaign visits to Pennsylvania, stopping by his childhood home in Scranton and speaking to volunteers in Philadelphia.

Biden told reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, he expects to win Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, the three Midwest states known as the “Blue Wall”.

“I think we are going to do well. We’re going to re-establish that Blue Wall,” Biden said, referring to Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Trump won those states in 2016, turning them Republican for the first time in decades.

Biden said this year is interesting.

“You can’t think of an election in the recent past where so many states are up for grabs. The idea that I’m still in play in Texas, in Georgia, in Florida,” he said. And said he would wait for a result before speaking later on election night.

“There’s so much in play out there and an overwhelming vote out there. If there’s something to say tonight, I’ll come out and say it, otherwise, I will wait until all the votes are counted.”

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden visits with residents in Wilmington, Delaware [Carolyn Kaster/The Associated Press]

Biden not making predictions about outcome, says ‘superstitious’

Speaking to reporters Tuesday outside a Delaware community centre, Biden said he’s “superstitious” about offering predictions for election night but remains “hopeful”.

He added he has heard from aides that there is “overwhelming turnout” among young people, women and older Black adults in places like Georgia and Florida.

“The things that are happening bode well for the base that has been supporting me – but we’ll see,” he said. “It’s just so uncertain” because of how many states are in play.

 


Voting in Florida’s most important swing county

Al Jazeera’s Chris Moody has sent this report from Safety Harbor, Florida

Desirae Braverman, a 20-year-old who was eager to vote in her first presidential election this year, showed up in person in the final hours on Election Day after her father accidentally threw away the mail-in ballot she ordered.

“He doesn’t pay attention sometimes,” she said of her dad after voting in person in the town library. “I was like, I have no choice but to come down here now last minute. I wanted to do my little part, even if it doesn’t mean that much. I wanted to get out there and say, ‘My vote counts’.”

To both presidential campaigns this election cycle, Braverman’s vote actually matters quite a lot: Her small bayside town, Safety Harbor, is located in Pinellas County, one of the most important swing counties in Florida, which is in one of the nation’s most critical battleground states.

Pinellas voted for George W Bush in 2004, then supported Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, only to swing back into Republican hands and vote for Donald Trump in 2016. And this year, it is once again up for grabs in a state likely to face a close outcome. The county is narrowly split between registered Republicans and Democrats, making turnout numbers essential in a tightly contested place like this.

Biden’s campaign sent the Democratic nominee’s wife, Jill Biden, to make a last-minute stop on the morning of Election Day to encourage voters.Braverman, a college student who said she cares about social issues such as preserving rights to same-sex marriage and abortion, cast her vote for Biden.”It kind of felt a little liberating because it was my first time,” she said. “It felt good. And I got my little sticker.”


Exit poll: Coronavirus is voters’ top issue

Coronavirus and the economy are the top issues among US voters, according to the Associated Press’ VoteCast data. And voters don’t have positive feelings about how both are being dealt with.

About 4 in 10 voters named the pandemic as the top issue facing the US, while 3 in 10 said the economy and jobs were most important.

About half of US voters said coronavirus is not at all under control. On the economy, 6 in 10 said the economy is in poor shape.

On the issue of law enforcement, of which Donald Trump has made the former a important campaign theme, only 4 percent said that was the country’s top issue.


Group feeds voters in Arizona

Al Jazeera’s Patrick Strickland filed this report from Phoenix, Arizona
A slow but steady stream of voters arrived at the Epworth United Methodist Church in Phoenix, Arizona’s capital. Poll volunteers informed new arrivals where to go to cast their ballots, while another group handed out free meals to voters as they left.

Feed the Polls is a volunteer initiative that brings together organisations and eateries to keep voters fed while they are waiting at the polls.
“Today we are set to give out 2,000 meals,” said Maria Parra Cano of Sana Sana Foods, one of the groups that teamed up with Feed the Polls.

“It’s been a constant flow [of voters] all morning until now,” she told Al Jazeera. “We are really just aiming to try to solve food insecurity on this day.”

Justin, 19, said he cast his first-ever vote for President Donald Trump, the Republican incumbent.

“The most important thing for me is obviously the economy – we need a strong economy,” said Justin, who declined to provide his surname. “And then law and order is a big thing for me.”

Justin also lauded Trump’s foreign policy, citing the recent normalisation agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

“It’s a crazy world we live in right now and this election is a big election, just like any election,” Justin added.

His friend Robert, a 26-year-old old business student, said the most important issue for him is taxation. On Tuesday he voted for Trump, just like in 2016.

“The civil unrest and everything – I feel like there needs to be something done,” said Robert, who also declined to provide his last name.
“And then I think Trump is going to be the one to stop the lockdown,” he added, referring to restrictions over the coronavirus pandemic. “I think it’s time everybody goes back to work.”

Feed the Polls is a volunteer initiative that brings together organisations and eateries to keep voters fed while they are waiting at the polls [Patrick Strickland/Al Jazeera]

DJs get out the vote in South Philadelphia

Al Jazeera’s Hilary Beaumont has sent this update from South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

DJs Ronald Coleman, 33, and Jarkeer Lassiter, 29, danced to Come Closer by Whiz Kid ft. Drake outside a South Philadelphia polling station. They already voted for Biden with mail ballots and now their goal is to get out the vote for Biden by DJing at the polls. They are part of an effort across Philadelphia bringing DJs and free food to voters.

Philadelphia voter turnout is high this election, but it is still unclear if it will be high enough to help the Democrat win Pennsylvania.

Asked why he voted for Biden, Coleman said, “My mom.” He wants Biden to follow through on his promise to improve healthcare. “Medicare, all the stuff for the older people,” Coleman added. He said people in Philadelphia have been rioting for their rights after the police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr, who was Lassiter’s cousin.

“It just hit too close to home for me,” Coleman said. “I just hope it gets better.”

Coleman and Lassiter said a lot of first-time voters were making their voices heard in Philadelphia this election. Lassiter said he voted for Biden because Trump failed to contain the pandemic and had stoked racial tension. “It’s like, if he’s in the White House, it’s OK to be [openly racist].”

Electing Biden will send a message, he said. “If we get Biden in there, we have to do better.”

Ronald Coleman (L), 33, and Jarkeer Lassiter (R), 29 [Hilary Beaumont/Al Jazeera]

Voters cast ballots in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Al Jazeera’s Cinnamon Janzer has sent this report from Kenosha, Wisconsin

The Kenosha Unified School District is a sprawling, yet nondescript building on the city’s 52nd Street thoroughfare.

On Election Day, its parking lot is brimming with cars including one with a man playing guitar and singing from the bed of a pick-up truck. The glass doors of the building’s entrance are flanked by two pairs of volunteers wearing yellow crew-neck sweatshirts that read “Election Defender”.

“It’s a nonpartisan group that is organising … to make sure that voters are taken care of, especially in places where there are long lines,” explained Rena Singer. “It felt good to have something to do today,” she said of the group’s efforts to hand out snacks, personal protective equipment and anything else voters need to make it through the process.

Inside, the sterile and fluorescent-lit hallways and rooms are dedicated to same-day voter registration and in-person voting.

“Everybody has been in such a good mood, even the voters,” said the location’s chief inspector, Shawnna Smith. “I’m pretty proud of how well curbside voting is going – we don’t usually have that,” she said of the pandemic-inspired practice.

Volunteers in yellow vests gather voters’ information, grab a ballot from inside that the voters complete from outside before the voters return them indoors to be counted. “People are taking advantage of it. Instead of risking coming in here, they’re just doing it curbside. It’s safe for them and everybody else,” Smith said.


Dow closes up 550 points on hopes for clear US election winner

Wall Street’s main stock indexes rallied as investors hope a clear winner will emerge from an exceptionally divisive US presidential election.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session up more than 554 points or just more than 2 percent at 27,480.03 – it had been up more than 700 points earlier in the session.

The S&P 500 – a gauge for the health of US retirement and college savings accounts – closed up 1.78 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index finished the session up 1.85 percent.

Tuesday’s strong finishes extended Monday’s gains. Though storefronts across the country have been boarded up in case violence erupts once the polls close, Wall Street is optimistic that a clear winner will be determined.

Read more here.

Wall Street’s main stock indexes all rallied on Election Day [Andrew Kelly/Reuters]

‘Come together with courage and grit,’ says Jill Biden

Al Jazeera’s Chris Moody sent this report from West Tampa, Florida

Jill Biden, wife of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, made a last-minute appearance in a predominantly Latino neighbourhood of West Tampa today to boost turnout in this crucial battleground state.

Speaking to only a few dozen supporters, mostly volunteers who have backed her husband’s campaign, she emphasised unity before the polls close later tonight. “There is nothing – nothing – we can’t do when we come together with courage and grit,” she told the crowd, who wore masks and stood several feet apart from each other.

Florida voters show their support for the Democratic Biden-Harris ticket [Chris Moody/Al Jazeera]
“Donald Trump is in this for himself. Nothing more, nothing less. And he wants us to believe that we’re all the same, that we’re unhopeful and angry and selfish and divided. But today, we are going to show him who we are.”

The appearance outside “Casa Biden”, an independent volunteer office where people have spent months drumming up support for Biden in an area with large Cuban and Puerto Rican populations, was scheduled at the 11th hour to try to increase voter turnout.

“This is where the highest concentration of Hispanic voters are,” said Elio Muller, who directs the volunteer operations. “Our precincts are usually 60 percent turnout Democrat.”


Voting with gratitude: Reporter’s notebook

Al Jazeera’s Jennifer Glasse reflects on casting a ballot in the US after decades abroad.

Read more here.


First-time voter perspective: ‘It was like the first day of school

Al Jazeera’s Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath has sent this update from Wilmington, North Carolina.

Ricardo Thomas woke up this morning feeling energised. The 35-year-old Wilmington, North Carolina-native was anxious to get to the polls to cast his first-ever ballot.

“It was like the first day of school,” he told Al Jazeera. Upon leaving the polling station, Thomas said he was “feeling good”.

Thomas explained that while he did not really have an interest in voting before this election, but when COVID-19 hit him and his community especially hard, he started to learn more about the candidates.

Ricardo Thomas cast his first vote in a presidential election on Tuesday [Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath/Al Jazeera]
“I live below the line anyway, so [often election outcomes] would never affect us,” he told Al Jazeera. “Because we don’t know what it is to have the amount of money that the people around us that we provide our services for have,” he said.

“When the COVID came, I lost my job, and it really set me back, back, back.” And that’s when he says he knew he had to vote, and “be a part of change and history”.


Wisconsin’s Kenosha County central count is calm – but busy

Al Jazeera’s Cinnamon Janzer has sent this dispatch from Kenosha, Wisconsin

Election Day is off to the races in Wisconsin.

Erin Decker, chair of the Republican Party of Kenosha County, said she expects “record-high turnout” today, while Lori Hawkins, chair of the Kenosha County Democrats, said she told her children that they are witnessing history.

Inside Kenosha’s municipal building, hallways dedicated to central count efforts – to tally absentee ballots separately from the polls – are bustling with volunteers and city officials. Dressed in neon green shirts, dozens of poll workers are steadily counting the 57,650 ballots that have been returned so far at tables of two, spaced six feet apart.

Poll workers count ballots in Wisconsin [Cinnamon Janzer/Al Jazeera]
A handful of retired men wearing bright orange lanyards attached to white placards reading “election observer” around their necks are mingling among the first-floor crowd.

Outside the building, resident Dennis Phillips said he had not voted yet, but that he would likely cast a ballot later for Trump – just as he did in 2016. “He’s been doing pretty good I guess,” Phillips said.


Read all the updates from earlier in the day here.

Source : Al Jazeera and News agencies

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