03 Nov 2020: It's election day: Voting begins in US, first ballots cast
The race for White House culminated today in the United States with voting beginning in New Hampshire, a Northeastern state. The first ballots were cast in Dixville Notch and Millsfield to choose the next US President between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.
Registered voters will also be electing New Hampshire's governor, and filling a number of federal and state legislative seats today.
Numbers: 16 crore expected to vote, a record in itself
As per reports, only five are registered as voters at Dixville Notch.
Reportedly, nearly 10 crore Americans have already voted, and another six crore are expected to exercise their franchise today.
A record 16 crore, out of the 23.9 crore eligible Americans, would vote in the bitterly-fought elections. This is huge in terms of turnout in the "most important election of a lifetime."
Fact: More people expected to raise electoral voice than in 2016
"It appears likely that around 100 million early votes will be cast by the time Tuesday morning reports are processed," said Michael P McDonald, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida. The turnout is expected to be more than in 2016.
Details: Candidates need to win over 50% of electoral college vote
To become the President, a candidate needs more than half of the total 538 electoral college votes.
To note, each state is assigned a number of electoral college votes, which go to a candidate after winning in that state, irrespective of the margin of the victory (except in Nebraska and Maine).
This means Biden and Trump need at least 270 electoral votes to win.
Results: In Dixville Notch, Biden won; Trump in nearby Millsfield
As per CNN, all five registered voters in Dixville Notch chose Biden, making the tiny township the first one to announce results.
In nearby Millsfield, Trump won 16-5 against Biden.
In Hart's Location, a small town in the White Mountains, the pandemic spoiled plans of midnight voting. Hence, all 48 voters will cast their ballots during the day.
Fact: Irrespective of outcome, history will be scripted
If former Vice President Biden wins, he will become the oldest President in US history as he would turn 78 by the time of inauguration. If Trump, 74, wins, he will be the oldest President to get a second term.
Fact: Trump's message to Americans: Vote! Vote! Vote!
Polls: Polls favored Biden but they were wrong the last time
If polls are to be believed, Biden has the lead. Real Clear Politics said he is ahead of Trump by 2.9 percentage points in battleground states.
But in 2016, the polls turned out to be wrong as Hillary Clinton lost the battle to Trump.
Political observers believe mail-in ballots would favor Bide, but the Republicans are confident a "silent majority" will make them win.