8:11 p.m.: More than 100 million early voters
More than 100 million people voted before the actual election day – a record number. The US Elections Project reported that this corresponds to more than 73 percent of the votes cast in 2016. Voter turnout was particularly strong in a number of states in the south and west. In Texas, Washington State, Oregon and Hawaii, the number of early voters even exceeded the total number of votes cast in 2016.
The majority of early voters are believed to support Challenger Biden. Incumbent Trump, on the other hand, had repeatedly associated postal voting with fraud.
7:35 p.m.: Trump is confident of victory
During a visit to his campaign workers, President Trump was confident of victory. “I think we’re going to have a great night,” he said in Arlington, near Washington. The numbers he sees from the states of Texas, Arizona or Florida are very good. When asked whether he had already prepared speeches in the event of victory or defeat, Trump said he was not thinking about it yet. But he hopes that the result will be fixed quickly. “Winning is easy. Losing is never easy. Not for me,” said the president. Results from the first states are expected after 1:00 a.m. CET.
6.50 p.m.: Biden visits the place of his childhood
To the cheers of local residents and onlookers, Biden visited the house where he spent the first years of his life on US election day. After talking to the current resident of the building in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Biden said in front of the cameras that he had written a greeting on the wall in the living room. According to fellow journalists traveling, it read: “From this house to the White House by the grace of God. Joe Biden November 3rd, 2020”. Biden and his family moved from Scranton to Wilmington, Delaware, where he lives to this day.
6:01 p.m.: US Secretary of Homeland Security calls for patience
Acting US Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf urges patience while waiting for the result of the presidential election. “Time could pass” before the results were announced, he told the US broadcaster Fox News on Tuesday. The voters should therefore “patiently” wait for the result. The head of the cybersecurity agency, Chris Krebs, called for patience, but also for vigilance. There could be attempts to disrupt the election or to paralyze the technology, he said and emphasized: “I call on all Americans to be patient and to be skeptical about all sensational and unchecked claims,” said Krebs.
5:02 p.m.: First Lady Melania Trump votes in Florida
First Lady Melania Trump cast her vote: The 50-year-old waved to a polling station in Palm Beach in the embattled state of Florida, as TV recordings showed. Accompanying journalists reported that Trump was the only person who did not wear a mask despite the corona pandemic. Her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said that Trump was alone at the polling station apart from a few election workers and their own staff, who had all been tested for the corona virus. Because of the distance regulations and the usual privacy at an election, no one was near the first lady.
President Donald Trump cast his vote early in Florida at the end of October. The couple’s official residence is Trump’s luxury hotel Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach.
16.00: Polling stations in California open
Because the USA spans several time zones, the polling stations open for several hours. To the east follow the states in the center of the country. In the west coast state of California you can cast your vote from 7:00 a.m. local time (4:00 p.m. CET). In Alaska, the polling stations have been open since 5 p.m. CET, in Hawaii only from 6 p.m. In both states, voters can vote until 6:00 a.m. (CET) on Wednesday, and an hour longer in the Aleutian Islands.
2:50 p.m.: Trump before election night: “No reasons to play games”
US President Trump has been ambiguous on the possible scenario that he could announce his victory in the presidential election before all votes are counted. “I think we will win. But only if there is a win. There are no reasons to play games,” said Trump in the morning on the TV show “Fox and Friends”. The president, who was connected by phone, was optimistic that he would achieve an even better result than his success in 2016.
Before the election, Trump did not promise that he would accept the result. The US President again claimed on Fox and Friends that the sharp increase in postal votes could lead to election fraud. He did not provide any solid evidence for this. .
2:07 p.m.: “Swing States” could decide the US election
At the end of the election campaign, Trump and Biden had concentrated entirely on the so-called swing states – those US states that vote sometimes republican, sometimes democratic. The renowned statistics portal “FiveThirtyEight” considers 13 states as swing states in this election: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin and Virginia.
Background: The president is not elected directly, but through electors. And these are principally awarded according to the “winner takes it all” principle. If a candidate has a majority in one state, he gets all the votes of the electorate. To win an election, a candidate needs the votes of at least 270 of the 538 voters.
12.40 p.m.: The polling stations open in the east of the USA
In the eastern United States, the first polling stations were opened for personal voting on the day of the presidential election. After voting in two small towns in New Hampshire had already taken place at midnight (local time), the polling stations in larger cities and municipalities now opened. For example, many opened at 6:00 a.m. local time (12:00 p.m. CET) in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, Indiana, and Kentucky. Long queues formed in front of some bars, as can be seen in various posts on Twitter.
11.40 a.m.: Record turnout for postal votes
It is unclear whether a reliable result will be available this time on election night. Because in many places only the polling station urns are counted in full. The evaluation of millions of absentee ballots could take a long time in some states. Because of the corona pandemic, a record number of voters voted by postal vote this year: Almost 100 million US citizens voted before polling stations across the country opened. This corresponds to around 70 percent of the total votes cast in the 2016 presidential election.
In the past, the democratic candidate was usually in front of the postal voters. The first counting results could change due to the evaluation of the postal votes. The inauguration of the next president is scheduled for January 20, 2021.
10:05 a.m.: More than 140,000 eligible voters in Germany
Numerous Americans in Germany could also vote for the presidential election. According to the Federal Statistical Office, there are more than 141,000 US citizens who are eligible to vote. Around a third of them also have German citizenship. US soldiers, diplomats and their relatives stationed here are not included in the figures.
07:29 am: First results in the US election – from small villages
The first decisions of the US presidential election have been made: The Democrat Joe Biden won the vote in the small town of Dixville Notch in New Hampshire on the US east coast with 5 to 0 votes against Donald Trump. In the neighboring town of Millsfield, the Republican Trump prevailed with 16 to 5 votes against Biden, as announced there shortly after midnight (local time) on a hand-written board. Traditionally, people vote at midnight in the villages. Since there are only a few registered voters, the votes are counted immediately.
6:27 a.m.: Republicans fail with lawsuit against voting from cars in Texas
Republicans have failed in Texas in an attempt to invalidate approximately 127,000 ballot papers that voters cast directly from their cars. The votes were cast in Harris County, which is considered more Democratic. A federal judge in Houston dismissed a lawsuit brought by four Republicans who called for the ballots not to be considered. In view of the Corona crisis, the Harris County electoral authority also had tents set up next to polling stations, where drivers could cast their ballots without leaving the vehicles.
Texas has not voted for a Democrat in a presidential election since Jimmy Carter’s victory in 1976 – but this year polls show a relatively close race between Republican incumbent Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. In this respect, 127,000 votes could also play an important role.
6 a.m.: Election day opened in USA – small towns in New Hampshire vote
Election day in the USA began at midnight (local time) with votes in small towns in the state of New Hampshire. The first result is expected from the village of Dixville Notch, which has been voting at the beginning of the “witching hour” since 1960. There are fewer than a dozen registered voters here, so they are counted as soon as they cast their votes. In the small town of Millsfield, voting traditionally takes place at midnight (local time). In Hart’s Location, the midnight vote for this presidential election is canceled due to the corona pandemic. Here, as elsewhere, the polling stations do not open until a few hours later.
5.40 a.m.: US election is considered open
The race between Republican incumbent Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden is considered open. In the national polls, Biden was ahead of Trump. The Democrats painfully experienced four years ago that this does not have to have much to do with the result on election night: Although Hillary Clinton was generally expected to win, Trump moved into the White House at the time.
In addition to the President, the entire House of Representatives and a third of the Senate are also eligible.
Tuesday, November 03, 2020
You can find older news on the US election here.
With material from dpa, Reuters, AP and AFP.