After last minute rallies, nearly 100 million early votes, anxious Americans end national elections

U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden project confidence on election day as over 100 million votes have already been cast in the presidential race

Trump paid a visit to his campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia on Tuesday, where he thanked dozens of staff working to get him re-elected

“I think we’re going to have a good evening, but it’s politics and elections and you never know,” he said

“Winning is Easy Losing is never easy,” added Trump, stressing how important winning the battlefield of the US state of Pennsylvania is to his prospects for a second term in the White House

This is where Biden spent his morning stopping off at his childhood home in the town of Scranton

Over 100 people applauded the former US Vice President outside the two-story White House “It’s good to be home!” Biden told the crowd

Joe Biden speaks outside his childhood home on election day in Scranton [Kevin Lamarque / Reuters] After weeks of campaigning, around 60 million voters are expected to go to the polls on Tuesday to choose between Biden and Trump – two candidates who are offering radically different visions for a nation in crisis

“The turnout is going to be high everywhere,” Michael Traugott, professor of political science at the University of Michigan, told Al Jazeera

Michigan is one of three Midwestern states, along with Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, that Trump won in 2016 by giving him an Electoral College victory Trump held large rallies in all three states on Monday, in the ‘hope to trigger another victory from behind

Earlier this week, Biden headlined two gatherings with artists John Legend in Philadelphia and Lady Gaga in Pittsburgh, the two largest cities in Pennsylvania Biden also visited Cleveland, Ohio and made a third stop in the Pittsburgh suburb

Republican Vice President Mike Pence, Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris and Biden’s wife Jill all campaigned in the state during the closing hours of what was a division

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence hold a campaign rally at Gerald R Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Mich. on the eve of Election Day [Carlos Barria / Reuters] At the same time, Showing the scale of the fight, Former President Barack Obama urged late voters to step out in Florida and Georgia on Monday, while First Lady Melania Trump appeared in North Carolina

The first lady voted on Tuesday at a polling center in Palm Beach, Fla. near the resort town President of Mar-a-Lago Trump moved his residence from New York to Palm Beach County in the year last and voted in person on October 24 in the early poll

When asked why she didn’t vote at the time, the first lady told reporters: “It’s election day, so I wanted to come here to vote today for the elections”

She was not wearing a mask to guard against COVID-19 when she voted, but her spokesperson said the first lady was the only person at the voting site other than the officers poll and its staff, all of whom have been tested for the virus

The United States has seen a record early voter turnout, spurred in part by the COVID-19 pandemic

Nearly 101 million votes were cast by 2:14 p.m. ET (7:14 p.m. GMT) Tuesday, according to a tally from the University of Florida’s US Elections Project

The Associated Press news agency also said on Tuesday that early voting in several states, including Texas and Arizona, had already exceeded the total number of votes in 2016 The biggest gain came in Kentucky, where nearly 13 times as many votes were cast than four years ago, AP reported

Charles Bullock, professor of political science at the University of Georgia, told Al Jazeera the state could garner six million votes this year “We have never been far from that,” Bullock said

While Georgia has historically gone for the Republican presidential candidates, some polls show it is within Biden’s reach this time around – and the former vice president’s campaign has therefore pushed for a strong electoral turnout to offer an electoral surprise to Democrats

Voters line up to vote at Savannah Grove Baptist Church in South Carolina [Randall Hill / Reuters] “We haven’t attracted that kind of attention from presidential candidates in a generation or more, “said Bullock

Trump, meanwhile, hosted a huge rally in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Monday night.This is a county he won by 238 votes in a state he won by a margin as thin as a razor sharp in 2016 Kenosha could be close again

He closed the day with a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he closed his campaign in 2016, hoping to rekindle the same supporters who gave him the White House four years ago

“It’s always important to get your constituents excited at the last minute,” said Timothy Hagle, professor of political science at the University of Iowa “You like to see the energy of your candidates”

The outcome of the election may not be known for days, depending on how close the vote is in key states and how long it takes to count the large number of postal ballots that have been cast

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has warned that counting 28 million mail pieces could take up to three days Michigan plans to release provisional results that could indicate who wins, however

In Pennsylvania, state rules allow counties to collect mail-in ballots that were postmarked on election day for three additional days Trump has threatened to challenge those ballots in court, which could challenge tens of thousands of votes

Biden leads Trump in national polls of eligible voters by 518 percent to 434 percent, according to moving average calculated by FiveThirtyEightcom Final polls in major battlefield states suggest Trump has narrowed the gap with Biden

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Our final estimate of the participation rate reached 158 million, with the 80th percentile range between 147 and 168 million Compared to 137 million in 2016

Trump’s path to Electoral College victory is tough Closely contested states to watch for early results will be Florida, Georgia and North Carolina Losses for Trump in one of these would indicate Biden is having a good night

Arizona, Iowa and Ohio are also very tight presidential race states where Trump cannot afford to lose

Stores and buildings in downtown Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and central New York City have been closed, while additional police have been deployed to New York City Ladderless Fence was also installed around the White House

Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard deployed to downtown Philadelphia this weekend to help quell the riots and looting that began after the police shooting Walter Wallace Jr [Michael Perez / AP Photo] National Guard deployed to Philadelphia after weekend riots following police shooting of black man Walter Wallace Jr

Ten states activated the National Guard last week, and 14 more are expected to activate troops this week, The New York Times reported

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