WASHINGTON (AP) – After a campaign marked by farmism and fear, the Americans decided on Tuesday to between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, choosing a leader to direct a country ravaged by an outbreaking pandemic that has killed more than 231,000 people, consuming millions of their jobs and reshaping everyday lives.
Nearly 100 million Americans voted early and now it’s not until election day that the job is finished, ending a campaign dominated by coronavirus and is determined by the stress about who can best deal with it. Each candidate claimed the other was fundamentally unsuitable to lead a country that was grappling with COVID-19 and faced with fundamental questions of racial equity and economic equity.
Biden entered Election Day with many paths leading to victory while Trump, playing catch-up in some battlefield states, has a narrower but still viable path to win 270 Electoral College votes. Control of the Senate Also at stake: Democrats would need three seats if Biden captured the White House to gain full control of Washington for the first time in a decade. The house is expected to remain under Democratic control.
Voters defied the long lines and the viral threat to voting as they choose between two radically different visions of America over the next four years. Early voting set records – and legal skirmish about how it will be counted – has made allegations of unsupported fraud from Trump, who declined to guarantee that he would respect the results of the election.
Fighting to the end for every vote, Biden traveled to Philadelphia and stopped by a carpenter union hall and visited his childhood home and church in his native Scranton on Tuesday as part of an effort force to vote before waiting for election results in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. His executive partner, Sen. Kamala Harris, was visiting Detroit, a heavy black city on the Michigan battlefield. Both husband and wife also passed away when the Democrats achieved a clear victory.
Biden and his wife, Jill, start the day with stops at St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine in Wilmington, Delaware, accompanied by his two grandchildren. The four then walked to the grave of his late son Beau Biden, in the church cemetery. Beau, the former Delaware attorney general, died of brain cancer in 2015 and encouraged the former vice president to run another White House.
Trump called on “Fox & Friends,” where he predicted he would win with a greater proportion of electors than in 2016, when he won 306 electoral college votes compared to 232. President Hillary Clinton of the Democrats, who returned to the White House after 3am Tuesday after a busy campaign day, he visited his campaign headquarters in Virginia and plans to interview the hosts conservative at the end of the day. Vice President Mike Pence scheduled at least 21 interviews with local media outlets.
Trump invited hundreds of supporters to an election night party in the East Room of the White House.
The first polls ended at 6 p.m. Eastern time in parts of Indiana and Kentucky, followed by a series of stability polls that closed every 30 minutes to an hour throughout the evening. The final polls in Alaska close at 1 a.m. Eastern time on Wednesday.
The tough election campaign made voters on both sides eager to continue.
Kelvin Hardnett, who out of more than two dozen voters lined up over hours before the polling place at the Cobb County Civic Center outside of Atlanta opened Tuesday morning, said: “I believe there is a lot of division. and divide. “And I believe that once we get past the names, titles and personal plans, you know, we can focus on some practical issues.”
On their final day of Monday’s campaign, Trump and Biden made a big break on the mechanics of the vote itself while visiting the most disputed battlefield, Pennsylvania.
The Republican president has threatened legal action to prevent the counting of votes received after Election Day. If the counting of the votes in Pennsylvania took a few days, as allowed, Trump declared without proof that “cheating could happen like you’ve never seen it.”
In fact, about 20 states allow the calculation of votes received after Election Day – up to nine days and longer in some states. The lawsuits only focused on a few places where the states made the changes largely due to the coronavirus.
Jen O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s campaign director, said Biden planned to speak to the country on Tuesday night, though the winner may not be clear yet. She said Biden will emphasize national unity in his remarks.
The country has been preparing for what’s to come – and the results may not be known for days.
A new anti-scale fence has been erected around the White House. And in metropolitan areas from New York to Denver to Minneapolis, workers started their businesses out of fear of voting that led to unrest that erupted earlier this year amid protests over grievances. race level.
Just a short walk from the White House, from block to block, shops were covered with windows and doors. Some just opened the front door, hoping to attract a little bit of business.
Both candidates voted early, and first lady Melania Trump voted on Tuesday near Mar-a-Lago, the couple’s estate in Palm Beach, Florida. Mrs. Trump, who recently recovered from COVID-19, was the only person who did not wear a mask when entering the polling place. Her spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, said the first lady was the only person present at the polling place aside from her poll workers and her staff – all of which had been checked.
The winner faces a troubled nation reeling from a century-long health crisis that has shut schools and businesses and that is getting worse as time goes by. cold transition.
In Atlanta, occupational therapist Justin Windom, 29, said he wasn’t sure he was going to vote until last night. But after talking to his parents and one of his patients, he said that he decided to wake up at dawn and voted Biden as “the least prone to two evils”.
The campaign was largely a referendum on Trump’s virus handling. Trump insists the country “goes around” on the virus. However, Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House anti-virus task force, broke up with the president and joined a choir of Trump administration scientists that rang alarm bells. on the current spike in infections..
“We are entering the most disturbing and deadliest phase of this pandemic,” Birx wrote in a memorandum sent to top government officials. The country has not taken the necessary “balance” measures to slow the spread of the virus, she added. The content was first reported on Monday by The Washington Post.
In Concord, New Hampshire, 70-year-old Linda Eastman said she was voting for Trump, saying: “Maybe he’s not perfect with the coronavirus, but I think he did the best he could with what he did. there is. “
At Virginia Beach, it was a vote for Biden from 54-year-old Gabriella Cochrane, who said she thought the former vice president would “surround herself with the brightest and best” to fight the pandemic.
The challenge of tallying a record-setting early vote added a layer of uncertainty to an election marked by suspicions fueled by an incumbent who was consistently behind in visits. detecting.
In western Philadelphia, James “Sekou” Jenkins, 68, a retired carpenter and mechanic, said he didn’t want the chance to receive the letter and vote for Biden in person.
Jenkins, who had been waiting in line for about an hour to vote, said: “I don’t want to see no postman. “I love standing here, seeing my people, waiting in line and doing my civil service.”
Jaffe reports from Pittsburgh. Miller reports from the writers of Grand Rapids, Mich. Associated Press Robert Burns, Kevin Freking, Aamer Madhani, Deb Riechmann and Will Weissert in Washington, Bill Barrow and Haleluya Hadero in Atlanta, Jeff Martin in Cobb County, Georgia and Natalie Pompilio contributed to this report.
Find complete AP election information at APNews.com/Election2020.