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Americans go to the polls


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Americans go to the polls
Voters line up on election day in Charlotte, North Carolina, Nivember 3, 2020. (Reuters)

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WILMINGTON – Americans cast votes on Tuesday in the bitterly contested presidential race between incumbent Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden after a tumultuous four years under the businessman-turned-politician that have left the United States as deeply divided as at any time in recent history.

Voters lined up at polling places around the country casting ballots amid a coronavirus pandemic that has turned everyday life upside down. Biden, the Democratic former vice president who has spent a half century in public life, has held a strong and consistent lead in national opinion polls over the Republican president.

But Trump is close enough in several election battleground states that he could piece together the 270 state-by-state Electoral College votes needed to win the election.

Trump is hoping to repeat the type of upset he pulled off in 2016 when he defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton despite losing the national popular vote by about 3 million ballots. Trump is aiming to avoid becoming the first incumbent U.S. president to lose a re-election bid since George H.W. Bush in 1992.

It is possible that it could be days before the result is known, especially if legal challenges focused on ballots sent by mail are accepted in the event of a tight race.

There was a sense of anxiety among voters and concern about possible unrest after a campaign with heated rhetoric. There were buildings boarded up in anticipation of possible protests, including in Washington and New York City. A new fence was erected around the White House.

Polls opened in some Eastern states at 6 a.m. The most closely watched results will start to trickle in after 7 p.m. when polls close in states such as Georgia. (Reuters)