Washington: Americans were voting in large numbers Tuesday in one of the most divisive bitter presidential elections in decades. In the elections incumbent Republican Donald Trump is challenged by Democrat Joe Biden. Survey polls have predicted Joe Biden to emerge victorious.
Amidst a resurgent COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 100 million people have already cast their ballots in early voting. Some 239 million people are eligible to vote this year. If they do vote it would put the US on course for its highest turnout in a century.
The mail-in ballots could take days or weeks to be counted in some states. It means a winner might not be declared in the hours after polls close Tuesday.
There is an estimated four million Indian-American population of which about 2.5 million are potential voters in the November 2020 presidential elections. Over 1.3 million Indian-Americans are voters in key battleground states, including Texas, Michigan, Florida and Pennsylvania.
The timing of the start of the polling differs from State to State, mainly due to the different time zones. People mostly in the East Coast started trickling down to the polling stations as many States opened up the polling stations at around 6.00am (4.30pm IST). These States include Virginia, New York, New Jersey, and Maine. Polling in California starts at 7.00am (8.30pm IST).
Initial reports indicated an early large turnout. In the battle ground State of Pennsylvania, hundreds of people were seen outside booths even before the start of the polling.
Trump who returned from campaigning in the wee hours of Tuesday urged Americans to vote for him. “VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!” Trump said in a tweet with a short video of him dancing at election rallies.
“Vote like your freedoms, your livelihood, and our future depends on it… Because they do!” said Trump, who is seeking to avoid becoming the first incumbent president to lose a re-election since George HW Bush in 1992.
Biden also tweeted urging people to vote. “It’s Election Day. Go vote, America!” he tweeted.
“In 2008 and 2012, you placed your trust in me to help lead this country alongside Barack Obama. Today, I’m asking for your trust once again — this time, in Kamala and me. We can heal the soul of this nation — I promise we won’t let you down,” the challenger said in another tweet.
Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, urged voters to not to ‘allow anything to come between you and your vote. If you have any questions or concerns about voting, reach out to our voter hotline’.
In another tweet, Harris said, “If you’ve already voted, thank you. But we still need your help. Take 20 minutes to help voters in critical battleground states find their polling location. This election is too important to leave anything to chance.”
National polls continue to show Biden leading Trump, by a comfortable eight percentage points.