USA goes to the ballot
Americans are still on to the vote in one of the most divisive presidential elections in decades, pitting incumbent Republican Donald Trump against his Democratic challenger Joe Biden. After weeks of divisive campaigning, millions of voters are preparing to cast their ballots for either Donald Trump or Joe Biden. The eve of election day was packed with rallies; US President Donald Trump visited four battlegrounds states the North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin while his Democratic challenger Joe Biden spent his day in Pennsylvania supported by former president Barack Obama, who made stops in Florida and Ohio.
The polls began from 05:00 EDT (10:00 GMT) in Vermont. The elections took place amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Voters were in line before the sun had even risen lining up outside the polling stations even before doors were open. The president and the vice-president of the US are voted in through a system called the electoral college. America uses it here to refer to a group of people. That group is made up of 538 people who are formal electors. This means that either party needs a majority of 270 electoral votes to elect the president and for him to have won.
Adding fears in an already chaotic environment, misinformation regarding in-mail voting that led to false claims that ballots have been tampered with is on the rise. According to data published by the New York Times, the highest volume of misinformation regarding in-mail voting has been floating in the battleground states. Of the 1.1 million total voting-by-mail falsehoods that Zignal tallied, Pennsylvania topped the list with 227,907 of them. This comes after Trump’s repeated attacks on the credibility of the system.
The issue of voter fraud was brought up on the last day of campaigning as US President Donald Trump sought to know the results on time. “The Election should end on November 3rd., not weeks later!” he tweeted on Friday.
With Trump threatening legal battles lawyers are on standby to march into court to make sure ballots get counted, or excluded. In the national polls, Trump continues to trail Biden with a 42 per cent chance. Biden’s electoral position appears to put him in a stronger position than any presidential candidate since 2008.
The question is what is will Trump retain his seat and what are the best path to winning a second term in office? Trump has several paths to 270, but his best route hinges on winning Florida and Pennsylvania. If he wins both states and holds onto North Carolina and Arizona, which he narrowly carried in 2016, and also Georgia and Ohio, which he won in 2016 but is now competitive, he will win. With 29 electoral votes, Florida is arguably the most crucial state for Trump. A loss there would make it nearly impossible for him to retain the White House. As of the moment, this is a dramatic race with a lot of new experiences for the electorate. Issues of violence, voter suppression, media bias are among the challenges that the international community has noted will push the outcome of the results. At the moment, we all are in the wait and see mode.