US Elections: First Polls Close in Indiana; No Disruption Seen
Catch all the updates on the US elections 2020 here.
Election Day kicked off in the United States on Tuesday, 3 November, with long queues seen at many polling stations across the country, as voters turned up to cast their ballots. First Lady Melania Trump was among those who cast their votes in Florida.
Going into Election Day, as many as seven states, including Texas, Hawaii, Washington, Montana, Nevada, Arizona and Oregaon, already went past the turnout figure they had recorded in the 2016 election, with a big spike in pre-election voting, CNN reported.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Democratic candidate Joe Biden exhorted people to vote, writing, “It’s Election Day. Go vote, America!” His running mate Kamala Harris had a similar message to share on Twitter.
‘NOT THINKING ABOUT CONCESSION OR ACCEPTANCE SPEECH YET’: TRUMP
In Virginia on Tuesday, Donald Trump said he was not thinking about a concession speech or an acceptance speech yet.
"No, I am not thinking about concession speech or acceptance speech yet. Hopefully, we'll be only doing one of those two. Winning is easy, losing is never easy – not for me, it's not. When you see rallies, there's tremendous love going on in this country, tremendous unity," he was quoted as saying.
Earlier, in a phone interview to Fox News, Trump said that he would declare victory "only when there's victory." "It’s been a great run, an incredible three weeks," he added.
Meanwhile, several businesses and stores across the country have boarded up their properties amid anxiety over possible unrest and potential protests turning violent.
According to reports, buildings in Beverly Hills, storefronts in Miami, New York's shopping districts were among the many places that have been boarded up in the country.
BIDEN WINS SMALL TOWN IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
Earlier in the day, Biden won all five of the votes cast for president in Dixville Notch, a small township in New Hampshire along the US-Canada border, CNN reported.
This is one of the first places in the country to announce its results for presidential elections. CNN reported that the ballots in Dixville were cast soon after midnight.
PRE-POLL VOTING SHATTERS RECORDS
Even before polls for the US presidential elections had opened on Tuesday, approximately a 100 million Americans voted in the country, CNN reported.
Pre-election voting for the US presidential polls shattered records, surpassing two-thirds of all ballots cast during the 2016 presidential election.
These votes represent more than 47 percent of registered voters in the US, a CNN report said.
The massive early voting numbers certainly paint a picture of a high level of enthusiasm for voting this year, despite the obvious concerns of a pandemic.
While Biden led multiple national opinion polls narrowly, the fight in key battleground states would be closer.
ELECTION CAMPAIGNS DRAW TO A CLOSE
Trump wrapped up his re-election campaign in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Monday night, telling his supporters that he would win Michigan “so easily”, Associated Press reported. Thousands turned up for the president’s final rally of the campaign.
Trump reportedly told supporters, “We made history four years ago and tomorrow we’re going to make history once again.” ,
According to the report, back in 2016 as well, Grand Rapids was the final stop for Trump and a surprise victory for him as well.
At the White House, non-scalable fencing had been temporarily installed around the perimeter in anticipation of potential Election Day protests, ABC News reported.
Biden meanwhile closed his election campaign with a drive-in rally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he encouraged the audience to vote and said, “I have a feeling we’re coming together for a big win tomorrow!”
The Democratic nominee predicted a win in the crucial swing state where he had begun his election campaign 19 months ago, CNN reported.
"Tomorrow's the beginning of a new day," Biden had said to the crowd of about 250 cars at the Pittsburgh rally, adding that "The power to change this country is in your hands."
BIDEN'S CAMPAIGN PROJECTING CONFIDENCE AROUND A WIN
On a public Election Day briefing call, Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s presidential campaign projected confidence saying “it is clear we are winning.”
Campaign manager, Jen O'Malley Dillon, said that they are “confident” about their path to victory and “clear-eyed” on what will come in next.
On the call, Dillon touted that the campaign sent 32 million texts and knocked on 1.3 million doors in the final Get Out the Vote weekend of the election.
In terms of the electoral proceedings, the campaign’s Bob Bauer reported "minimal issues" with voting across the country saying that matters are “proceeding really well.”
"54% OF THE VOTE SO FAR IS WOMEN", SAYS BIDEN
In the afternoon of third November, Joe Biden addressed a large crowd in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania among cries of "we love you" and "Uncle Joe".
"We're going to have more people vote this year than anytime in American history," said Biden, claiming that an estimate voter turn out of 150 million is expected this election.
He said voters between the ages of 18-30 are turning out in big numbers and understands that "54% of the vote so far is women."
Referring to Trump, Biden said, "The President's got a lot of things backwards. One of which is, he thinks that he can decide who gets to vote. Well, guess what? The people who are going to decide who gets to be president!"
"Just have to remember who we are, dammit. This is the United States of America!"
He concluded his speech, letting the crowd know that he will be at home in Wilmington, Delaware during election night.
WILL DECLARE VICTORY ONLY WHEN THERE'S A VICTORY: TRUMP
"There's no need to play games", said Trump as he noted that he will declare a victory only if indeed there is a victory. These remarks from the president came in the morning hours of Election Day in an interview on “Fox & Friends".
“When there’s victory. If there’s victory,” Trump said.
“I think we’ll have victory. I think the polls are, you know, suppression polls. And I think we’ll have victory. But only when there’s victory. I mean, you know, there’s no reason to play games. And I think we’ll have victory.
Axios reported Sunday that Trump had told confidants he planned to declare victory prematurely on election night if early results showed him ahead, even if there were votes left to be counted.
Democrats too have long worried that Trump could seek to distort the results of the election and take advantage of delays in the reporting of vote counts on account of mail-in ballots in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
HARRIS ENCOURAGES PEOPLE TO STAND IN LINE TO VOTE
Making a surprise stop at the Greater Grace Temple polling place on 7 Mile in Detroit, Michigan, a predominantly Black community, Harris said "Encourage people to stand in line, I know it may be asking a lot but when we think about what we want for ourselves, for our children, for our families, for our community over the next four years and for the next generation this is probably o.k. to do compared to what we're going to get in return."
Referring to the 2016, Harris claimed that the voters have a real chance of making a difference in 2020.
“You know in Michigan, the last election for president in 2016, the outcome of that election was decided on average of two votes per precinct in Michigan,” Harris said.
“Two votes can you imagine if each of us just pulled out another two people to make sure they voted today, that could determine who would be the next president of the United States of America.”Kamala Harris
"THERE'S JUST SO MUCH AT PLAY RIGHT NOW", SAYS BIDEN
Democratic candidate, Biden, says he does not have a plan if in case election results aren't made clear by the end of Tuesday night.
"There’s just so much in play right now … We’ll see. If there’s something to talk about tonight, I’ll talk about it. If not, I’ll wait ‘til the votes are counted the next day," Biden said.
"Presidents can’t determine what votes counted or not counted and, you know, voters determine who is president," Biden responded when asked how he would react if Trump were to declare premature victory. "No matter what he does or what he says, the votes are going to be counted."
"It’s just so uncertain," Biden admitted. "Look, you can’t think of an election in the recent past where so many states are up for grabs. The idea I’m in play in Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida — I mean, come on. Texas?"
The state of Texas has a voting history of exclusively voting majority Republican, with the exception of 1976 when they voted Democrat. Will 2020 be the year that changes this 'red wave'?
Indian-American Sri Preston Kulkarni is the Democratic candidate for the Texas Congressional District #22.
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