Voting enters final hours as Biden and Trump wait on their destinies

T

he US is set for a record turnout as voters continue to stream to the polls hours before they close on one of the most dramatic presidential elections of modern times.

Winding queues of Americans have hit polling stations around the country  to choose between  Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden in a contest which has been dominated by coronavirus and anti-racism demonstrations.

Those who have turned out in person have joined 102 million fellow citizens who voted days or weeks earlier – a record number that represented 73 per cent of the total vote in the 2016 presidential election.

Mr Biden claimed his first victory of the election this morning – winning all five votes in the small New Hampshire community of Dixville Notch – but the battle is far from won, with Indiana and Kentucky set to be the first major results to be declared in a matter of minutes.

Live updates

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Biden admits he’s ‘superstitious’ when it comes to predictions

Joe Biden isn’t making any predictions about the outcome of the election as the final hours of voting tick down.

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

He says he’s heard from aides that there’s “overwhelming turnout” among young people, women and older black adults in places like Georgia and Florida.

He said: “The things that are happening bode well for the base that has been supporting me – but we’ll see.” 

Still, he admitted: “It’s just so uncertain” because of how many states are in play.

Mr Biden also wouldn’t commit to commenting on any results on election night, even if  Donald Trump weighs in on the vote. “If there’s something to talk about tonight, I’ll talk about it,” Biden said. “If not, I’ll wait till the votes are counted the next day.”

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Check out this handy graphic from leading poll site Five Thirty Eight:

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Back in the US, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is out and about outside her office in the Bronx, New York:

( AP )
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Trump fans are showing their support as far afield as Sydney, Australia…

( Getty Images )

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On this side of the pond

The US Embassy in London lit up in red, white and blue, as the US presidential election reaches its climax, with voters braving long queues and the threat of coronavirus to cast ballots:

( PA )
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Let’s take a look back at that shock 2016 result

Despite winning the popular vote by almost three million, Hillary Clinton suffered a convincing defeat to Donald Trump in the crucial Electoral College vote:

( Evening Standard )
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Let’s take a moment to compare the candidates two pinned tweets

Pinning a tweet places it at the top of a Twitter user’s profile, making it the first thing a visitor to their page sees.

Here’s Joe Biden’s:

And here’s Donald Trump’s:

If Twitter views were a reflection of popularity among voters, Mr Trump would win the election hands down.

Mr Biden’s video, posted 10 hours ago, has 1.4 million views. 

Mr Trump’s, posted 14 hours ago, has 23.1 million.

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This is interesting from leading pollster site FiveThirtyEight…

The gender gap is widening, with men increasingly less inclined to vote Democrat:

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Judge orders sweep of mail processing facilities for delayed ballots

A judge ordered the US Postal Service to sweep mail processing facilities on Tuesday afternoon for delayed election ballots and immediately dispatch any for delivery in about a dozen states, including closely-fought battlegrounds like Pennsylvania and Florida.

USPS data showed about 300,000 ballots that were received for mail processing did not have scans confirming their delivery to election authorities. While ballots may be delivered without scans, voting rights groups fear mail delays could cause at least some of those votes to be disqualified.

The ruling came in response to lawsuits brought by groups including Vote Forward, the NAACP, and Latino community groups.

Affected by the order are central Pennsylvania, northern New England, greater South Carolina, south Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Alabama and Wyoming, as well as the cities of Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Lakeland, Florida.

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In New York, voters are preparing for a long night…