America (and the world) hold their breath: Millions are voting to give their verdict on the most controversial US president of all time
America was on the cutting edge last night when millions cast their votes on the most divisive president in modern history.
Voters stood in line at 5:30 a.m. to have their say in the race between Donald Trump and his White House rival Joe Biden.
A polarized and exhausted country marked by racial tension and the highest number of coronavirus deaths in the world seemed determined to make its voice heard.
Socially distant queues to enter polling stations meandered around blocks as the American public chose between two completely different visions of their nation for the next four years.
Voters stood in line at 5:30 a.m. to have their say in the race between Donald Trump and his White House rival Joe Biden (map of the likely votes for each candidate, picture)
77-year-old Biden entered election day as a favorite while Mr Trump, who played catch-up in a number of battlefield states, had a less likely but still feasible chance of getting the 270 electoral college votes needed to to win out of the 538 votes.
Recent polls showed that Democratic challenger Biden had the edge in most major swing states, but Trump supporters showed up in large numbers on election day.
The 74-year-old Trump admitted that he likely needed a record turnout to hold on to his presidency, but was outwardly confident that he would spoil the odds for the second time after his surprise victory four years ago.
Mr Trump, 74, admitted he likely needed a record turnout to hold on to his presidency (pictured with daughter Ivanka).
It was widely believed that more Democrats had taken advantage of the postal voting system and Mr. Trump needed more people to get out that day.
And the signs on the voter numbers were good for him early on, as Florida and Texas – both major swing states – darkened their 2016 totals before the morning was over.
Eligible voters included First Lady Melania Trump at a polling station in Palm Beach, Florida – near the Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence.
The 50-year-old looked dapper in a £ 3,500 chain-pattern Gucci dress and was also the only person nearby who wasn't wearing a mask when she entered the Morton and Barbara Mandel Leisure Center – despite her spokesman claiming she was be socially distant.
When asked why she didn't vote alongside the president last week, Ms. Trump said, "It's election day so I wanted to come here to vote for the election today."
The first result of the day came from the tiny New Hampshire village of Dixville Notch, which prides itself on staying ahead of the pack.
The latest polls showed that the Democratic challenger Biden (77) (pictured) has the edge in most of the major swing states
All five villagers who voted chose Mr. Biden.
However, with some states warning that it could be weeks before they release their results due to coronavirus restrictions, there were fears of widespread violence.
The US usually knows the winner long before the results become official as television networks battle for the election.
Among those who voted early was the first lady, Melania Trump (pictured)
Shops and businesses across New York went on board yesterday, fearing protests from both sides if her husband was not immediately declared the winner.
And the FBI was investigating reports of fraud in which millions of voters received automated phone calls asking them to "stay safe and stay home" instead of voting.
The two candidates each had a hectic last day after a hurricane week.
Mr Trump had returned to the White House at 1 a.m. after his last rally in Iowa and fired a series of tweets before bed.
He called his favorite Fox News at 7:45 AM sounding hoarse and tired. Later that day he appeared at a campaign office in Virginia and said he felt "very good" but admitted that his voice was "choppy".
The President was to watch the results at the White House, while Mr. Biden – who was aiming to become the oldest US president in history – wanted to watch from his home in Delaware.
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) Coronavirus (t) Donald Trump (t) Joe Biden (t) White House