US election 2020 live: America votes for Joe Biden or Donald Trump for next president - latest news

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Marcus Parekh
·90 min read
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After a vicious campaign President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden have reached the final stretch in their race for the top job. 

Mr Trump, in a phone interview with Fox News on Tuesday morning, said he felt "very good" about his chances for victory as he took a final swing at Mr Biden saying, he was "not prime time".

Ignoring his trailing in the polls, Mr Trump predicted he would win by a larger electoral margin than he did in 2016.

"I think we'll have victory," a hoarse-voiced Mr Trump said.

The president sought to downplay predictions of rioting, saying it "will only happen in Democrat cities" - despite the building of an 8,000ft barricade around the White House this morning.

Mr Trump went on to called it "terrible" and "dangerous" that millions of votes mailed in might still not be counted on Wednesday.

Follow the latest updates below

11:50 PM

Protesters gather outside of the White House

Our US Editor Ben Riley-Smith has the latest news from outside the White House.

I've just had a walk round downtown Washington DC and it is quite eerie. There is of course the much-publicised fence up surrounding the White House. It is eight foot high and was erected over Monday night to help secure the US president’s residence.

There are policemen circulating in groups. Traffic is being kept at bay for blocks around the White House’s northern edge. And already a few hundred protesters have gathered, banging drums and waving placards.

At a scan of the eye most - you will be unsurprised to hear - appeared to be Trump critics. The whole thing has echoes of the scene in the week of intense protests that broke out in the US capital in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police in Minneapolis. But only echoes.

The protests were peaceful as of 5pm local time on Tuesday. There were no tight lines of officers standing and facing down the demonstrators.  And, perhaps most importantly, there were no violent clashes that I could see. People were singing, chanting, voicing their views - as is their right. Let us hope things stay calm. 

11:40 PM

Trump campaigns on airwaves in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin

President Donald Trump called into talk radio shows in the battleground states of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin just hours before polls closed.

Trump projected confidence that he will win key states like North Carolina and Florida and said he's expecting a "great" evening.

Trump told Wisconsin host Vicki McKenna that he is expecting a strong night based on lines of people waiting to vote. Trump has sown doubts about mail voting, without evidence, and is expecting most of his supporters to turn out on Election Day.

At the same time, his campaign was hosting a call with reporters in which they projected confidence but predicted a tight race that would come down to turnout.

11:33 PM

Twitter, Facebook suspend several right-leaning accounts

Twitter and Facebook suspended several recently created right-leaning news accounts posting information about voting for violating their policies.

Twitter said the accounts had been suspended for violating its policy against "coordination," posting identical content while appearing independent or engaging in other covertly automated behavior. Facebook suspended them for inauthentic behavior.

One of those suspended, SVNewsAlerts, had more 78,000 Twitter followers, after adding more than 10,000 in the past week.

The account frequently warned of election-related unrest and highlighted issues with voting safety and reliability. It pointed to fraud claims about Democrats and called attention to Republican President Donald Trump's rallies and speeches.

Other accounts suspended by Twitter included FJNewsReporter, Crisis_Intel and Faytuks.

A Facebook page also named SVNewsAlerts, which was suspended on Tuesday afternoon, had more than 20,000 followers. Facebook declined to comment further.

11:24 PM

The swing states

US Election 2020 – When do the swing states announce their results?
US Election 2020 – When do the swing states announce their results?

11:13 PM

What are the policy differences between the two candidates?

As polls begin to close along the East Coast, let's take a moment to examine what policy differences there are between the two candidates.

READ MORE:  Biden vs Trump policies - how they compare

11:05 PM

Vermont's Republican governor votes for Biden

Vermont governor Phil Scott says he voted for Joe Biden for president, making him the first Republican governor in the nation to acknowledge voting for the Democratic presidential candidate.

The Republican governor told reporters after casting his ballot in his hometown of Berlin, Vermont, that he had never voted for a Democrat in his life.

"As many of you knew, I didn't support President Trump. I wasn't going to vote for him," Mr Scott said. "But then I came to the conclusion that it wasn't enough for me to just not vote. I had to vote against."

He says he "put country over party, which again wasn't an easy thing to do in some respects."

A couple of other current Republican governors have said they aren't voting for Trump, but they said they weren't voting for Biden, either. Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker says he left his ballot blank for president. Maryland governor Larry Hogan says he voted for President Ronald Reagan, who died 16 years ago.

10:55 PM

Political rivals queue side by side

In Scottsdale, Arizona, Laurence Dodds encounters a tale of two “electioneers”: mutual party enemies forced to stand together for hours in the baking sun.

Terry Switsky, 56, a mother of two grown children, is a Democrat; Sharon Erickson, a 66-year-old retiree, is a Republican. Both have the unenviable task of lingering outside a polling place passing out lists of recommended candidates for all the town councillors, judges and mine inspectors who are also up for election. 

“If you’re looking for animosity, there’s none here,” says Ms Erickson. “Variety makes the world go round.” Not to say there isn’t a competitive edge: “I’ve been out here since 10:30am,” says Ms Switsky. “Well, I’ve been out here since 7:30am!” replies Ms Erickson. 

But north Scottsdale is a deep red area, and Ms Switsky watches as car after car (plus many trucks and one Harley Davidson) stop for Ms Erickson. Ms Switsky always offers them her blue list just in case. The polite voters at least stop to tell her “no thanks”. 

10:47 PM

Biden makes election day gaffe

Joe Biden made a late gaffe where he introduced one of his granddaughters to a crowd as his late son Beau, then got his two granddaughters mixed up, reports Nick Allen.

"This is my son, Beau Biden who a lot of you helped elect to the Senate in Delaware," he said as he put his arm around his granddaughter Finnegan's shoulder.

He then continued with the slip-up by calling her by her cousin Natalie's name and saying she is Beau's daughter. Finnegan is actually Biden’s other son Hunter’s daughter.

"This is my granddaughter, Natalie," he continued, before saying: "No wait, we got the wrong one."

10:41 PM

US set for record turnout

More than 100 million Americans voted early in the US presidential election, indicating the highest turnout in more than a century after a fractious and heated race for the White House, writes Ben Riley-Smith.

With queues outside polling stations witnessed across the country, political analysts were watching closely to see if the number of eligible voters casting a ballot would eclipse the 1908 record of 65 per cent.

People line up to cast their ballots in South Bend, Indiana - Robert Franklin /South Bend Tribune 
People line up to cast their ballots in South Bend, Indiana - Robert Franklin /South Bend Tribune

In 2016, a record 139 million votes were cast, which represented 59.2 per cent of the eligible voting population.

Americans went to the polls despite the number of daily Covid-19 infections hitting highs unseen throughout this year. But they wore face masks and used hand sanitiser to cast their ballots.

READ MORE:  US election set for record turnout as Trump and Biden await results ​

10:33 PM

Biden: 'Love is more powerful than hate'

Joe Biden has tweeted his thoughts on tonight's vote.

The Democratic nominee said Americans can prove that "Love is more powerful than hate. Hope is more powerful than fear. Light is more powerful than dark."

10:27 PM

Masks sow division in Texas

Hours before voting shuts in Texas, a row over masks has erupted in Dallas, Margi Murphy reports.

Volunteers have complained because Republican election judge Beth Biesel and several poll workers at a voting centre are refusing to wear masks inside, despite requests to do so from county officials and the Dallas Republican chairman.

Ms Biesel was removed as a poll worker for refusing to wear a mask during the primaries. During a general election, however, poll workers are not considered county employees and cannot be forced to cover their faces. 

Meanwhile, the whole of the US is looking to Texas when voting shuts. The state can take a while to count its votes, but will probably have a result on election night, unlike other states.

It could be a hair raising evening for both sides. Urban areas and mail-in votes will come in first and may make it appear as if Biden has a big lead. Then, it will be down to the rural and on-the-day votes to confirm if Trump has caught up. 

10:21 PM

What are the issues that are motivating voters?

Both candidates have sought to frame this race around different issues, with President Trump seeking to frame himself as the champion of law and order, while Joe Biden has sought to shift focus to the coronavirus pandemic.

A CNN exit poll showed the economy was easily the most important issue to voters.

Some 34 per cent of voters said the economy, 21 per cent said racial inequality, and 18 per cent the coronavirus.

Asked about the pandemic 48 per cent said the response was going "well" and 51 per cent "badly".

On whether it was more important to contain the virus or rebuild the economy, 52 per cent said the virus, and 42 per cent said the economy.

In a separate exit poll conducted by Edison research revealed just 20 per cent of voters say they were looking for a president who can 'unite the country'.

10:16 PM

Republicans back in court in Nevada

The Trump campaign has filed an emergency motion with the Nevada Supreme Court to stop the processing of some mail-in ballots in Clark County, reports David Millward.

It is the latest attempt by the Republicans to throw out votes cast in a county, which includes Las Vegas, which houses 70 per cent of the state's voters.

Should the Republicans succeed - and their pleas have been knocked back by the courts so far - the chances of the Trump campaign flipping a state won by Hillary Clinton in 2016 would increase.

It is just a foretaste of legal battles which will be fought across the country over which votes should be counted.

10:06 PM

Biden says he may not respond if Donald Trump claims victory tonight

Nick Allen in Delaware reports: Asked if he would  address the nation tonight, Mr Biden said: "If there's something to talk about today I'll talk about it. If not, I'll wait until the votes are counted the next day."

Mr Biden said he may not respond if Donald Trump claims victory tonight. He said: "Presidents don't decide what votes are counted and not counted. Voters determine who's president. No matter what he does, no matter what he says, the votes are going to be counted."

Asked if he felt a responsibility to respond to a claim of victory by his opponent, he said: "No. I don't. Look it depends on what he says and how he says it but I don't feel a responsibility to respond to it."

10:02 PM

Joe Biden returns home, says he is 'hopeful'

Nick Allen in Delaware reports: Arriving back in Wilmington, Delaware, Mr Biden said: "I'm superstitious about predicting outcomes but I'm hopeful. We're getting overwhelming support from women."

Mr Biden said that was because of his legislative record on preventing violence against women, and because of Donald Trump. He had no regrets about the way he conducted his campaign, adding: "Hopefully with age comes a little bit of wisdom."

Mr Biden reminisced at some length about his time as a lifeguard, working with black lifeguards, in Wilmington as a young man. The Democrat said had "not changed what I've been saying since the day I announced. I believe very strongly we have to restore decency and honour in our system or its gonna fall apart. We have to unite the country."

He said Mr Trump was "embarrassing Republicans" who were "walking away from him".

He said: "What I'm hearing is overwhelming turnout, particularly young people and women. African-Americans in Georgia over 65."

Mr Biden expressed surprise that he was "in play" in Texas. He said: "The things that are happening bode well for the base that has supported me, but we'll see."

09:56 PM

‘Damage was done’ before Twitter restricted Trump

As Twitter reveals steps to stop candidates pushing misleading information about the election, a study has shown the dramatic effect that restricting Donald Trump’s messages have, James Titcomb reports in San Francisco.

Last night, Twitter labelled a tweet from the President, which predicted violence and warning of voter fraud as a result of a court decision regarding voting in Pennsylvania. The move blocked others from retweeting or replying to the post.

This chart from the Election Integrity Partnership, a group of researchers, shows the dramatic effect of restricting Trump’s posts, seeing shares of his tweet largely fall to nothing after Twitter took action.

However, the researchers said “the damage was likely already done”. It took just over 40 minutes for the company to take action, by which time the tweet had been retweeted 55,000 times and liked 126,000 times.

Meanwhile, some Instagram users have noticed that the app is displaying a notice saying the vote is taking place tomorrow, instead of today . The company has put this down to a bug.  

09:47 PM

Election night in pictures

A man dressed as U.S. President Donald Trump imitates him as he walks around Trump Tower in Manhattan - CARLO ALLEGRI /REUTERS
A man dressed as U.S. President Donald Trump imitates him as he walks around Trump Tower in Manhattan - CARLO ALLEGRI /REUTERS
Hand sanitizer and a disinfecting wipes next to 'I'm a Georgia Voter' stickers at a polling location in Atlanta - Elijah Nouvelage /Bloomberg
Hand sanitizer and a disinfecting wipes next to 'I'm a Georgia Voter' stickers at a polling location in Atlanta - Elijah Nouvelage /Bloomberg
Supporters of U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden hold signs at a canvassing stop, in Philadelphia - KEVIN LAMARQUE /REUTERS
Supporters of U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden hold signs at a canvassing stop, in Philadelphia - KEVIN LAMARQUE /REUTERS
A woman wearing glasses and a face mask is seen outside a polling place in the CenturyLink Field Event Center, in Seattle - LINDSEY WASSON /REUTERS
A woman wearing glasses and a face mask is seen outside a polling place in the CenturyLink Field Event Center, in Seattle - LINDSEY WASSON /REUTERS

09:41 PM

Hand sanitiser breaks ballot counting machine in Iowa

A spokesperson for the Iowa secretary of state says hand sanitiser on voters' hands caused a ballot scanner to jam at a polling place in Des Moines, Iowa.

Spokesperson Kevin Hall says some voters' hands were moist when they handled the ballots and the buildup of sanitizer eventually caused the scanner to stop working.

The machine was fixed in about an hour.

To prevent another breakdown, poll workers moved the sanitizing station further back in the line so voters' hands would be dry when they first touched the ballots.

It was a problem unique to the coronavirus era. Iowa is considered one of the tossup states in Tuesday's election between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden.

09:36 PM

"Philly's the key! Philly is the key!"

Mr Biden said he believed Philadelphia, by far the biggest city in Pennsylvania, would be the most important place if he was to win, Nick Allen reports.

Pollsters have suggested Donald Trump lost support among women in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Mr Biden's home in Wilmington, Delaware is just 40 miles from Philadelphia. After visiting a restaurant in Philadelphia called Relish, known for 'traditional live jazz', he emerged and briefly removed his mask.

He shouted to nearby group of about 25 supporters: "Philly’s the key! Philly is the key!” The crowd shouted at him to come over. 

"They won’t let me!” said Mr Biden. A woman, laughing, shouted “You’re your own man! Come over here and shake my hand!”

09:31 PM

Take our US election quiz!

There' still a couple of hours left before polls start closing on the East Coast, so in the meantime, why not test your US politic knowledge with our official quiz!

US election quiz

09:25 PM

Arizona hangs in the balance

With five hours left until the polls close, the newly-minted swing state of Arizona still hangs in the balance, reports Laurence Dodds.

Voting data collated by local media suggests that the Republicans will hit the level of support that pollsters expected when they predicted a probable win for Joe Biden. If that's all, it's bad news for the GOP.

People line up to cast their vote at a polling station on Election Day in Surprise, Arizona - EDGARD GARRIDO /REUTERS 
People line up to cast their vote at a polling station on Election Day in Surprise, Arizona - EDGARD GARRIDO /REUTERS

But in crucial Maricopa County, 2.5 times more registered Republicans are voting in person than registered Democrats, and that advantage will be solidified in rural voting. It's a race between the strength of President Trump's support among his base and the number of independent voters who reject him.

"A Biden victory in Arizona, Georgia or North Carolina would put the Trump prospects on life support with no room to lose another close state," said Mike O'Neill, a veteran Arizona pollster.

09:19 PM

US stocks close markedly higher

U.S. stocks closed sharply higher as investors bet the election would be decided without a prolonged process, leading to a swift deal on more fiscal stimulus.

Democrat Joe Biden's lead over Republican President Donald Trump in national opinion polls has raised expectations for a decisive outcome and a post-election stimulus package that would make good on Biden's promises of infrastructure spending.

"It seems as though the polls have narrowed which makes it a little bit more difficult for Biden but the market reacting the way it is now tells me the market thinks we are going to get a resolution fairly quickly," said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

"If for some reason we don't have any kind of a clear picture, if there is an unwillingness to concede on the part of the loser and this ends up having to go to the courts, we are in for some choppy, volatile markets for awhile."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 554.98 points, or 2.06%, to 27,480.03, the S&P 500 gained 58.92 points, or 1.78%, to 3,369.16 and the Nasdaq Composite added 202.96 points, or 1.85%, to 11,160.57.

09:14 PM

FBI investigates robocalls saying 'stay home'

Further to our posts at 8.31pm and 6.07pm, the FBI is investigating robocalls urging people to "stay home," Nick Allen reports.

It is estimated that tens of thousands of people may have received one of the calls, in which a voice says: "Hello. This is just a test call. Time to stay home. Stay safe and stay home."

A spokeswoman for anti-robocall company RoboKiller said: "This robocall is being sent at a very high volume."

In Michigan, officials are investigating a separate batch of robocalls urging residents in the heavily Black city of Flint to "vote tomorrow" due to purported long lines.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said: "Obviously this is FALSE and an effort to suppress the vote. Don't fall for it."

09:09 PM

Politics divides Florida's Hispanic community

In Little Havana, the heart of Miami’s Cuban-American community, caravans of cars covered in Biden and Trump flags have been driving around all day in a bid to boost turnout, reports Rozina Sabur from Miami.

Older Cuban immigrants here tend to be staunchly conservative, but the city’s growing Venezuelan diaspora and large Puerto Rican and Central American communities tend to lean towards the Democrats. 

Maria-Elena Lopez, chair of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party believes the party is also making inroads with younger Cuban-Americans in the city. Ms Lopez says warnings about Republicans’ attacks on public healthcare programmes have proved particularly effective on the doorstep. 

At one polling station in Little Havana, Pedro Perez, a federal worker in his 20s, says his support for the Democrats has caused a rift with his parents.

Mr Perez says Donald Trump’s claims that the Democrats are radical socialist has proved effective with Cuban immigrants like his parents.

“I want to get out of Florida because I’m sick of it, I have no hope for (the result) tonight,” he says.

09:04 PM

Republicans 'smash' Democrats early lead in Florida

Republicans appear on course to smash Democrats’ early lead here in Florida, Rozina Sabur writes from Miami. 

Democrats started Election Day with a strong advantage from early voting, initial vote tallies suggest. 

However Republican strategists say they believe they had wiped out the Democrats’ early advantage by midday here in the Sunshine State with a strong turnout of in-person voters.   

Election officials say more than 1.1 million votes have been cast today, with some analysts suggesting around half of these ballots went to Donald Trump.

Pundits say high in-person turnout favours Republican candidates, and if the current pace continues it may suggest Mr Trump has had a very good day.

Bruno Barreiro, a Republican state representative candidate, says his party are very positive about the turnout they are seeing here in Miami-Dade County, the most populous county in the state. 

Mr Barreiro told The Telegraph that the party’s analysis suggested more than 88,000 people in Miami-Dade had cast their vote before early afternoon. Their figures suggest that 31,161 of those votes were for Democrats and 27,649 for Republicans. The figure giving the party hope is the number cast for a third party candidate: 28,357. Miami-Dade is a Democratic stronghold, but a strong turnout for a third party candidate could hurt their razor thin margins across the state as a whole. 

08:57 PM

Maine Senate seat hangs in the balance

Speaking of Maine, it is not only the presidency which is garnering attention in the state but the battle for one of the two Senate seats, reports David Millward.

Republican Susan Collins, a 23-year incumbent, has tried to distance herself from Mr Trump and play up her moderate credentials as she fights off a challenge from Sarah Gideon.

But polls suggest she could be in trouble and capturing Maine would be a vital win in the Democrats' hope to flip the Senate.

READ MORE:  2020 Senate election: What is it and why is it important?

08:51 PM

Trump pulls out the stops in Maine to try to win one Electoral College seat

Voters in Maine are defying a cold and blustery day to turn out in record numbers.

Maine and Nebraska are the only states to split their Electoral College votes and Donald Trump has his sights set on Maine's sparsely populated second congressional district.

Hoping to claim one of Maine's four votes, the Trump campaign has made a great play of  the administration's support for the lobster industry, which was hit badly by both the coronavirus and the trade war with China.

Only two months ago, however, the administration negotiated an agreement with the EU which saw Brussels drop its eight per cent tariff on live lobster imports.

Donald Trump has repeatedly visited Maine, most recently last week when he visited a farmer's market.

08:47 PM

Obama: 'Everything is on the line'

Former US President Barack Obama has tweeted his election day thoughts, warning Americans that "everything is on the line" in this election.

"This Election Day, everything is on the line. Our jobs. Our health care. Whether or not we get this pandemic under control," he said.

"But here’s the good news: today, you can choose change. You can elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Let's win this thing."

08:41 PM

How tonight could pan out

There are four likely ways this election breaks, writes our US correspondent Nick Allen.

If Biden wins, he will probably win in either a landslide or by a narrow margin. A big Biden win is the only way we are likely to know the result on the night, owing to the tremendous number of early votes cast.

Of course, Donald Trump could also win. This is still a real possibility and can not be discounted, given Mr Trump's surprise win in 2016.

Then there is the possibility that the result is too close to call. As happened in 2000, this will lead to one, or possibly both candidates, demanding a recount. In that scenario, it could be weeks before a victor is declared.

READ MORE:  US presidential election 2020: The four likely scenarios ​

08:31 PM

New York attorney general probes disinformation robocalls

Further to our post at 6.07pm, New York Attorney General Letitia James said her office is investigating allegations that numerous people were receiving robocalls telling voters not to vote on Election Day.

Her office earlier this week issued subpoenas to investigate the source of the robocalls allegedly spreading disinformation.

"Attempts to hinder voters from exercising their right to cast their ballots are disheartening, disturbing, and wrong. What’s more is that it is illegal, and it will not be tolerated," Ms James said in a statement.

08:25 PM

North Carolina result to be delayed

The North Carolina State Board of Elections voted to keep four polling places open longer because they opened late, which is expected to delay statewide reporting of results.

The longest extension was 45 minutes for a site in Sampson County. That means the state can't publicly report any statewide results until 8:15 p.m.

The state's more than 2,600 polling places are otherwise scheduled to close at 7:30 p.m. But state elections officials said in a news release last week that if hours are extended at any polls, they wouldn't publicly post any results until all polls are closed.

Board Chair Damon Circosta confirmed at the meeting that the extended hours would delay public release of results.

The delays were at least partly due to issues with printers or other electronic equipment. The extensions, which only apply to the individual precincts and not other sites in those counties, range from 17 minutes to 45 minutes and match the extra time it took to get them open.

Board Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell said at a news conference in the morning before the vote was held that it's not unusual to extend polling place hours on Election Day.

08:18 PM

NBC report Trump campaign asked for 'ballot storage locations' in Pennsylvania

Josie Ensor, our US correspondent in Philadelphia, says election officials on the ground have been talking about an NBC New story which claims President Trump's campaign asked at least three counties in Pennsylvania for a rundown of highly specific election security plans, "including ballot storage locations and transportation details". 

Election officials in Cumberland, Mercer and Montour counties, which are delaying mail-in ballot canvassing until Wednesday morning, received the email from a Gmail address connected to a Trump campaign volunteer. 

Gary Eichelberger, Cumberland County Commissioner, told the network that in his 16 years in office, he has "never seen anything like" the Trump campaign's request.

A spokesperson for Trump's campaign said that the request was made to evaluate the differences in voting processes across jurisdictions.

08:12 PM

Kayleigh McEnany predicts a Trump landslide

Kayleigh McEnany, Mr Trump's press secretary, has predicted a landslide for the president, Nick Allen reports.

She also slammed a claim by Joe Biden's campaign manager, Jen O'Malley Dillon, that "under no scenario will Donald Trump be declared a victor on election night."

Ms McEnany said that was an echo of a previous comment in the summer from Hillary Clinton that Mr Biden should not concede "under any circumstances".

Kayleigh McEnany, Mr Trump's press secretary, has predicted a landslide for the president - Chris O'Meara /AP
Kayleigh McEnany, Mr Trump's press secretary, has predicted a landslide for the president - Chris O'Meara /AP

She said: "Our campaign believes that tonight will be a landslide. We believe this will be a landslide and for the Biden campaign to come out and double down on Hillary Clinton's egregious statement that no circumstance should you concede just tells you all you need to know."

She said Mr Trump would win Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

08:00 PM

Joe Biden issues final call to vote

Appearing in Philadelphia Mr Biden addressed a crowd of cheering supporters in a street of terraced houses, Nick Allen reports.

Wearing a mask and speaking through a megaphone Mr Biden said the turnout had been "incredible".

He said: "Trump thinks he decides who gets to vote. Well guess what, the American people decide who gets to be president."

"The public nationwide has figured out. We're going to be able to overcome this virus with some smart moves. We're going to do it."

"We got to remember who we are dammit, the United States of America."

07:50 PM

A reminder of tonight's timings

If, like us here at the Telegraph, you're planning on spending your night watching the results trickle in, then here is a quick reminder of when you can expect things to start kicking off.

The first polls close on the East Coast at 7pm local time (midnight in the UK). 

The first significant results are expected at about half past midnight UK time, when Florida releases its first exit poll. The state starts counting its early voting and mail-in ballots ahead of election day so the winner may be known fairly early.

Polls will close in Texas and Pennsylvania at 1am UK time, two vital swing states that could determine the outcome of the election.

The final polls close at 5am UK time, when Hawaii and Alaska will cease accepting votes.

As for the final result, well your guess is as good as mine. The earliest a result has ever been declared was 1.02am in the UK when Walter Mondale conceded in his landslide loss to Ronald Reagan. But this race is expected to run long in to tomorrow and possibly even later in the week.

READ MORE: What time are the US election results and exit polls out?

07:37 PM

Biden writes message in childhood home

 Joe Biden has scrawled a message on the living room wall of his childhood home in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

He wrote: "From this house to the White House, with the glory of God."

This is not the first time he has written such a message in his former home while running for President. In 2008, when he first ran, he wrote the same message on his bedroom wall. That year, he became vice-president.

07:27 PM

US military will not intervene in disputed election

America's top generals reportedly warned that the US military would play no role in resolving a disputed election as he sought to dispel the idea the country's generals could take a decision in removing Donald Trump from the White House, reports Rozina Sabur.

General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and two other senior generals, gave rare off-the-record briefings to America's cable networks as the country braced for violent unrest.

Mr Trump has previously refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power and suggested that the only way he would lose his re-election bid is if the race was "rigged", in comments which his critics say have incited violence.

REDA MORE: Military generals say they will have no role in a disputed election amid fears of unrest​

07:16 PM

US Postal Service ordered to sweep processing centre for stray ballots

Fears that some ballots could remain uncounted because they were not sent to officials on time has led a judge to order the US postal service to carry out a sweep of its facilities to make sure votes were not left behind, reports David Millward.

The ruling by US district judge Emmet Sullivan will apply to at least 10 states, including some of the most pivotal races, as well as major metropolitan areas.

The Republicans have gone to court to stop states counting votes received after election day - with mixed results. As things stand ballots which arrive late will be counted in Pennsylvania, which could decide who becomes president.

An election worker carries mail-in ballots in containers from the US Postal Service to be processed by election workers at the Salt Lake County election office in Salt Lake City, Utah - GEORGE FREY /AFP
An election worker carries mail-in ballots in containers from the US Postal Service to be processed by election workers at the Salt Lake County election office in Salt Lake City, Utah - GEORGE FREY /AFP

There have been several reports of votes being moved slowly by the postal service which has said it has been hampered by staff shortages caused by the coronavirus epidemic.

Democrats, however, have accused the Trump-appointed postmaster-general, Louis DeJoy of deliberately sabotaging the election by an array of measures including removing high-speed sorting machines.

07:13 PM

Stock markets rally as investors bet on 'Blue wave'

Global stock markets collectively rallied on Tuesday, as investors bet an uncontested Democratic victory in the US presidential election, reports Louise Moon.

Europe’s main bourses all rose for a second consecutive day, led by the Milan exchange in Italy which gained 3.2pc. Shares in Frankfurt, Madrid, Paris and London followed close behind, each adding between 2.3 and 2.6pc. 

The continent followed Asia Pacific’s lead, after indices in the East ended trading with a sea of green across all the main bourses except Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur. Among them China’s Shanghai Composite and Tokyo’s Nikkei both boosted 1.4pc, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 2pc.

America also indicated optimism as its citizens headed to the polls, despite the election being one of the most controversial in decades, with the S&P 500 up around 2pc in early trading.

Investors are expecting Mr Biden would fulfill his promise of a post-election economic stimulus package to aid a slumping US economy.

Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG said: “It looks like markets have decided to remain calm about the US presidential election, as European stocks move sharply higher.”

“The risk is that investors are getting ahead of themselves, given the potential for a long, drawn-out battle over the result of the US election in coming weeks should no obvious result appear by [tomorrow morning]”.

07:06 PM

Racial tensions cast shadow over election day in Texas

Black voters in Texas fear a night of violent clashes in Austin as results come in, Margi Murphy reports. 

King Fafanx, a barista at Houndstooth Coffee, said many felt threatened after the fair-right neo facist group, The Proud Boys, were spotted at numerous Trump supporters' rallies which took over Downtown this week. 

The Proud Boys promotes political violence in the US and is considered a hate group by Facebook, which blocks any related content. On Sunday, Austin police officers were criticised for appearing in a photo with a group that included several Proud Boys who were making a "white power" symbol.

"It might get scary later depending on what the police want to do," Fafanx, a speaker for the Austin Justice Coalition, said. "It isn't surprising that these hate groups have been around as the President endorses groups that condone white supremacy". 

Fafanx said he - and other voters of colour in the city - were not convinced that Texas will flip blue tonight. 

"People are out saying 'vote Biden' but ten they are going home and thanking Trump for their sweet tax cut."

The National Guard is on standby in the state capital, Dallas and Houston in case violence kicks off as results come in tonight. 

07:00 PM

Election day in pictures

Voters wait in a long line to cast their ballots at Church of the Servant in Oklahoma City - NICK OXFORD /REUTERS 
Voters wait in a long line to cast their ballots at Church of the Servant in Oklahoma City - NICK OXFORD /REUTERS
Supporters of President Donald Trump wave flags and banners from a highway overpass in Hiawatha, Iowa - Mario Tama /Getty Images North America 
Supporters of President Donald Trump wave flags and banners from a highway overpass in Hiawatha, Iowa - Mario Tama /Getty Images North America
US President Donald J. Trump visits campaign workers at the RNC Annex in Arlington, Virginia - Chris Kleponis/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock /Shutterstock
US President Donald J. Trump visits campaign workers at the RNC Annex in Arlington, Virginia - Chris Kleponis/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock /Shutterstock
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden visits Hanks Hoagies in Scranton, Pennsylvania - ANGELA WEISS /AFP
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden visits Hanks Hoagies in Scranton, Pennsylvania - ANGELA WEISS /AFP

06:52 PM

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, votes

The Duchess of Sussex has voted in the US election, her spokesman confirmed this evening.

She is thought to be the first senior member of the Royal Family to have cast a ballot for some time, as traditionally in the UK, they choose not to exercise their democratic right in order to remain as neutral as possible in the eyes of British voters and to avoid swaying public opinion.

The Duchess is said to have been “shocked” by the criticism after both she and Prince Harry risked a diplomatic row by releasing a video message in September urging US citizens to vote, a move that was interpreted as criticism of President Donald Trump.

In the video, the Duchess called the election "the most important of our lifetime" and the Duke urged Americans to "reject hate speech, misinformation, and online negativity". 

Buckingham Palace quickly distanced themselves from the Duke with a statement emphasising that he was no longer a working member of the Royal Family.

Asked previously about their intervention, President Trump said: "I'm not a fan of hers and I would say this, and she probably has heard that. But I wish a lot of luck to Harry, because he's going to need it."

06:45 PM

Trump: 'Winning is easy, losing is never easy'

Following on from our post at 6:27pm, our US Editor Ben Riley-Smith says Donald Trump offered a nuanced assessment of his chances of victory during an election day visit to his campaign’s headquarters on the outskirts of Washington DC.

The US president said he believed he was doing well in Texas, Arizona and Florida - three traditionally Republican states that it will be vital he holds if he is to retain the White House. But amid the optimism - he pointed to long queues of people wearing Republican red in Trump-leaning areas of the country and predicted a "tremendous" night - there were more guarded comments about the results.

“I’m not thinking about concession speech or acceptance speech yet,” Mr Trump said, joking he hopes only one of those two will be delivered.

He went on: “Winning is easy, losing is never easy. Not for me it’s not.” At another point the president said: “I think we’ll have a great night but it’s politics and it’s elections and you’ll never know.”

During the appearance, Mr Trump, wearing a suit and tie, thanked the campaign staff for all their hard work and predicted some in the room could even go on to become president themselves.  He also joked about his hoarse voice.

“After doing that many rallies the voice gets a little bit choppy. God did not design it for that month,” the president said. Looking back at the campaign, Mr Trump said his second head-to-head debate with Joe Biden - when he adopted a more restrained approach - and his packed rallies gave him momentum.

“I think we took off,” he said, referencing those two features of the campaign. The president has done more than 20 rallies in the last week. “There was love at those rallies”, he noted. Mr Trump is set to spend election night watching the results come in from the White House.

06:38 PM

Small Indian village cheer on one of their own in race for White House

Perhaps, the most fervent well-wishers for vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris are to be found some 8,000 miles from the White House, in the small Indian village of Thulasendrapuram, where Ms Harris's grandmother was born, reports Joe Wallen

During her election campaign, Ms Harris often spoke fondly of her Indian roots, drawing inspiration and fight from her civil servant grandfather who opposed British colonial rule.

It was Ms Harris's mother, Shymala, who emigrated from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu in the 1950s to the U.S to study a masters in nutrition and endocrinology at the University of California, Berkeley. 

The inhabitants of Thulasendrapuram have excitedly watched her rise through American politics and are confident Tuesday's prayers will be enough to ensure a victory for Ms Harris and the Democrats.

During the ceremony, milk was poured over Dharma Sastha Aiyanar for good luck, the Hindu deity of her grandfather's family.

"If she wins, it's great. It will definitely put India on a pedestal, showcasing a woman of Indian origin achieving great things," said V Shivakumar, the village's priest, in the Financial Times. For residents of Thulasendrapuram, Ms Harris’s story represents what is possible for a hard-working woman of Indian origin and a large poster of her now stands proudly outside the entrance to the village. “She is a daughter of the village’s soil,” Lalitha, a housewife from the village, told the New York Times, “The position she has attained is unbelievable.”  

06:27 PM

Trump visits Republican National Committee Office in Virginia

President Trump has made a surprise, election-day visit to Republican staff at RNC headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

"I'm not thinking about concession speech or acceptance speech yet," the President said during the stop in to address . "Winning is easy. Losing is never easy—not for me, it's not."

“We’re gonna have a great night,” he added. “I think you’re gonna see some tremendous results.”.

After so many rallies the last few days, he says his voice is “a little choppy,” but otherwise, “I feel great.”

06:20 PM

Election 'proceeding smoothly', says Biden lawyer

Bob Bauer, the Biden campaign lawyer, said the election was "proceeding smoothly," reports Nick Allen in Delaware.

Mr Bauer said there had been "minimal issues" at polling stations apart from short delays of less than 15 minutes in Florida, Arizona and North Carolina. He said there were lines in Miami, Philadelphia and Milwaukee but it just showed voter "enthusiasm". Mr Bauer said: "Hats off to the electoral administration officials.

"We're feeling, at this point, very good about the way the election is running."

He said rejection rates for early voting ballots had been much lower than feared

The rejection rate was 0.3 per cent in Florida and 0.1 per cent in Wisconsin.

06:12 PM

Trump dancing all the way to the polls

President Trump has been on classic form today, tweeting a bizarre and hilarious video aimed at rallying his voter base.

06:07 PM

FBI investigating reports of robocalls trying to suppress voters

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into a spate of mysterious robocalls urging people to stay home on Election Day, a Department of Homeland Security official said. The FBI did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

U.S. state and local officials have been raising the alarm over at least two separate automated call campaigns, whose origins and exact purpose are unclear. Experts who spoke to Reuters say they are mystified by one of the campaigns, which tells people to remain home but does not explicitly mention voting.

"There's a little bit of confusion about this one across the industry," said Giulia Porter, vice president at RoboKiller, a company that fights telemarketers and robocalls and has been tracking the campaign.

Audio of the calls, which RoboKiller shared, features a synthetic female voice saying: "Hello. This is just a test call. Time to stay home. Stay safe and stay home." Porter said the call had been placed millions of times in the past 11 months or so but had just today shot up to No. 5 or No. 6 in the list of top spam calls.

"This robocall is being sent at a very high volume," she said. She said her company was still in the process of compiling figures on the campaign's intensity on Tuesday but estimated that "thousands or tens of thousands" of people had received it.

The same Homeland Security official told Reuters that the election is proceeding as normal and that there is no evidence of hacking.

06:00 PM

Social media giants on high alert for misinformation

As well as a dramatic moment in US politics, this election is a crucial test for major social media companies, writes James Titcomb in San Francisco.

The combination of Americans spending more time online due to the pandemic, a potential news vacuum due to drawn-out results and a live-tweeting President means Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are under pressure to show they have not enabled voter suppression or misinformation.

There have been few widely-successful efforts to manipulate social media this year, but the biggest test is likely to come on the night itself, with the companies on high alert for any candidates declaring premature victory. 

If candidates claim to have won the race or individual states before official results or news organisations call the result, they will see their posts restricted and marked with warning labels.

READ MORE:  Facebook and Twitter on alert to stop US election candidates claiming premature victory ​

05:52 PM

Arizona Senate race hots up

A former fighter pilot and Space Shuttle astronaut is central to the Democrats’ ambitions in Arizona, Laurence Dodds reports.

Mark Kelly has a chance of taking the state’s second Senate seat, which would be crucial to getting Joe Biden’s agenda through if he wins and to stonewalling Trump’s if he doesn’t. 

His entry into politics was grim: his wife, Gabrielle Giffords, then an Arizona congresswoman, was nearly killed in a shooting spree by a stalker in 2011. That led Kelly to join his wife in campaigning for stricter gun laws.

When he bumped elbows and took pictures with supporters at a polling place in Phoenix this morning, many of them were fellow veterans, swapping details of the units they served with and sharing tales of their commanding officers.

READ MORE:  Can Democrats flip the Senate?

05:45 PM

Democrats recruit the unemployed in Arizona to canvass

Hundreds of laid-off hotel and restaurant workers have set off on the biggest Democratic door knocking operation in Arizona, Laurence Dodds reports.  

Canvassers for the Unite Here hospitality workers’ union gathered for a strictly social distanced pep rally before setting off across the state’s bellwether Maricopa County to turn out known blue votes - focusing on Hispanic and non-white voters, as well as wavering white suburbanites.

Each canvasser must get their temperature checked regularly, wear face masks and clear plastic face shields, maintain six feet distance wherever possible and not accept water from voters despite Arizona’s baking heat.

So far the union has knocked on 600,000 doors and spoken to about 150,000 people. That will be crucial if the Democrats want to win this state, which has been a Republican bastion for generations. 

05:37 PM

Bolsonaro told to bite his tongue

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been advised by domestic aides to wait until U.S. election results are official before congratulating his political idol Donald Trump on a win, even if either candidate declares himself winner beforehand, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

"The recommendation is not to say anything until we have a definitive result," a source said.

Bolsonaro, a far-right populist, has modeled himself on the U.S. president and delights in being called the "Tropical Trump." The U.S. leader has not completely redrawn U.S.-Brazil relations in the way Brasilia may have hoped, but he represents a key ideological ally for Bolsonaro.

Supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro voice their support for Donald Trump while attending a rally against the possibility of obligatory use of a vaccine against coronavirus - FERNANDO BIZERRA/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock /Shutterstock
Supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro voice their support for Donald Trump while attending a rally against the possibility of obligatory use of a vaccine against coronavirus - FERNANDO BIZERRA/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock /Shutterstock

If Joe Biden wins, the Democrat could put the environment and human rights at the top of the bilateral agenda, complicating relations and jeopardizing trade, diplomats and analysts have told Reuters.

On Tuesday, Bolsonaro met with Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo, his strategic advisor Flávio Rocha, and with his international advisor Filipe Martins to define their election result strategy.

05:31 PM

The complications of going to the polls amid a global pandemic

Millions of Americans are taking to polling stations up and down the country today, armed with facemasks and hand sanitisers, reports Josie Ensor.

Some faced temperature checks before they were allowed to enter the booths, while some stations were offering antibacterial wipes. Election officials ensured voters lined up outside polling stations, limiting the amount of time they spent indoors.

“I worry about the virus, we all do, but I heard about the challenges to try to stop mail-in votes being counted so I didn’t want to risk it,” Glenn Goldstein, 61, told the Telegraph outside a polling station in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

An unprecedented 100 millions Americans decided to vote early this year - nearly 70 per cent of the total number of votes cast in 2016 - partly over coronavirus concerns. While some opted to vote early in-person, many more decided to mail-in their ballot to avoid contact at the polls.

With more than 90,000 testing positive for the virus every day in the US, there had been fears that many voters would be unable to cast their ballot. The Telegraph spoke to one such voter in New York, who tested positive on Friday and was concerned she would not be able to go to the polls. She applied for an emergency same-day ballot on Monday, which arrived at her door later that day with an envelope and a stamp.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared on Tuesday, however, that people who are in quarantine or sick with the coronavirus are allowed to vote in person, providing they wear a mask, stay six feet apart from others and wash their hands before and after voting.

05:26 PM

Latest poll shows Biden lead narrowing in key states

There's some alarming news for Joe Biden as Donald Trump has taken the lead in Florida and narrowed the gap on the former vice president in Arizona and Wisconsin according to the  the latest  CNBC/Change Research Poll.

Overall, however, Mr Biden still has a four point lead across all six battleground states: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

But the poll suggests that voters are not driven by enthusiasm for the former vice-president, with 54 per cent of respondents saying they were voting against Mr Trump rather than for Mr Biden. 

Significantly a small majority of the 3,328 voters surveyed still approved of Mr Trump's handling of the economy, but at the same time Mr Biden enjoys greater support when it comes to tackling the coronavirus.

Such is the strength of feeling that 28 per cent of Biden voters said they would leave the country if Donald Trump won the election, while 12 per cent of the president's supporters said they would do so if he lost to the Democratic candidate.

05:18 PM

Voter suppression fears in Texas

As mentioned in our post at 4.09pm, voter suppression is a major concern across Texas, which some are claiming may turn blue this year after Democratic progress in the 2016 election, reports Margi Murphy. 

The Texas Democratic party has been looking for volunteers who can help counteract the “poll watchers” that are being deployed by the Texas GOP, who it is feared may try to intimidate voters. 

The FBI is investigating alleged harassment of a Biden and Harris campaign bus that was driving from San Antonio to Texas on Friday by motorists displaying Trump flags. 

The National Guard is on standby for any illegal activity or possible violent clashes, however Texas Governor Gregg Abbott assured that they would not be stationed at polls.

05:11 PM

Campaign stops reveal battlegrounds

Donald Trump has focused his campaign on the Rust Belt, particularly in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, three states he narrowly won in 2016 which gave him the keys to the White House.

Yet despite his concentrated efforts, the President trails his Democratic rival in all three states, and by a significant margin in some areas.

Coming in to today, Joe Biden held an eight point polling lead in Michigan and a nine point lead in Wisconsin.

The Keystone state of Pennsylvania is a more of a tossup, although Mr Biden does hold a slight advantage.

READ MORE: Why Pennsylvania is so important in the 2020 election

05:03 PM

Pollster says Trump will win

One of the few nonpartisan pollsters to predict Donald Trump's 2016 win continues to predict he will do it again, Nick Allen writes.

Four years ago the Trafalgar Group was the only independent poll that had Mr Trump leading in Michigan and Pennsylvania going into Election Day. Mr Trump won the two key states narrowly and they propelled him to victory.

Robert Cahaly of the Trafalgar Group argues there was a "hidden" Trump vote last time - what he calls "shy Trump voters" - and that there will be again. If Mr Cahaly is right - for a second time - then the polling industry is heading for disaster.

His findings have been rejected by other pollsters, the overwhelming majority of whom have Mr Biden with a clear lead. In 2016 another poll, the USC-Dornsife, also became prominent because it had Mr Trump ahead going into Election Day.

However, this time the final USC-Dornsfire poll went the other way. It gave Mr Biden a landslide lead of 11 points, one of the biggest leads of any poll. 

READ MORE: Latest polls: Who is going to win?

04:54 PM

Has Biden done enough to win over Florida's Latino voters?

Democrats worry that Joe Biden has taken the support of Hispanic voters for granted, writes Rozina Sabur in Miami.

Several of the battleground states in this election, Florida, Texas, Nevada and Arizona, may hang on the turnout of Latino voters. Many Democratic strategists believe that if Mr Biden loses the all-important state of Florida, it will be because he did not do enough to engage the state's large Hispanic population. 

In recent weeks the Biden campaign has poured a huge influx of cash into the state, targeting adverts to Florida's Puerto Rican, Mexican and Venezuelan communities, as well as making efforts to hire campaign staff from the local communities here. 

But some privately admit it may be too little, too late. 

The Telegraph spoke to some of these voters in a recent dispatch from Miami. Read more here

04:48 PM

More than 100 million voted early

The US Elections Project at the University of Florida have just confirmed that over 100 million Americans have voted early, setting the stage for a record turnout in this election.

In 2016, 138.8 million Americans voted in total, which equated to 55.5 per cent of all eligible voters. That figure of 138.8 million represents the record for turnout in an American presidential election.

In four states, Washington, Montana, Texas and Hawaii, early voting totals exceeded their total turnout from four years ago.

04:39 PM

Joe Biden will address the country from Delaware on election night

A stage with video boards is being built outside a convention center, writes Nick Allen in Wilmington, Delaware

Mr Biden is expected to speak at the Chase Center, the largest event centre in Wilmington, a city of 70,000.

It is normally used for trade fairs, conferences and weddings, and overlooks the Christina River.

Mr Biden used the same venue for his speech accepting his party’s presidential nomination in August.

Despite the size of the venue his election night event is expected to be significantly smaller in scale than Donald Trump’s at the White House, due to coronavirus restrictions.

It is believed Mr Biden’s intention is to speak on election night, regardless of whether a result is declared.

04:34 PM

Gravestones desecrated with pro-Trump message

People believed to be Trump supporters have vandalised gravestones at a 125-year-old Jewish cemetery in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The defaced gravestones were discovered just ahead of Donald Trump arriving in the city for the final rally of his campaign on Monday night, Mr Trump's name was painted onto four tombstones, with the slogan 'MAGA' on two more.

Pro-Trump messages that are spray-painted on grave stones are viewed at Ahavas Israel Cemetery in Grand Rapids, Michigan - JEFF KOWALSKY /AFP
Pro-Trump messages that are spray-painted on grave stones are viewed at Ahavas Israel Cemetery in Grand Rapids, Michigan - JEFF KOWALSKY /AFP

Carolyn Normandin, the Anti Defamation League's  Michigan regional director, told the Washington Post that the incident was "disgusting and vile".

In a statement Michigan Jewish Democrats said this was an attempt to discourage people from voting.

"Make no mistake, this heinous act was committed on the eve of the 2020 election to send an intimidating message to the president’s opponents, and particularly, Jewish voters."

04:27 PM

Melania Trump casts her ballot

Despite her husband casting his vote in the Sunshine state of Florida 10 days ago, Melania Trump has just emerged after casting her ballot in Palm Beach.

Mrs Trump said: “It’s Election Day, so I wanted to come here to vote today for the election.” She added she’s feeling “great.” 

First lady Melania Trump arrives to vote at the Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center in Palm Beach, FL - Jim Rassol /AP
First lady Melania Trump arrives to vote at the Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center in Palm Beach, FL - Jim Rassol /AP

04:19 PM

Trump's Spanish faux pas

Speaking of the southern states, Richard Luscombe in Miami brings us this news:

Donald Trump’s campaign made an embarrassing slip as they chased the Hispanic vote at Sunday night’s midnight rally in Opa-Locka, Florida.

They handed out thousands of signs printed with the Spanish language message “¡Dalé Trump!”, the translation of which means literally nothing. Without the accent, Dale, a popular word among Cuban-Americans in South Florida, means “hurry up” or “let’s go”.

The imperative of the Spanish verb dar, to give, it rose to prominence as a catchphrase of the Miami rapper Pitbull. But as printed on the Trump placards, with a superfluous acute accent over the ‘e’, it is meaningless.

“The accent is a no-no. That has no meaning in Spanish at all,” Jorge Duany, director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Nobody from the Trump campaign responded to the newspaper’s queries about the grammatical mistake or how much money was spent on printing the incorrect signs.

04:09 PM

Texans wake up to fewer polling stations amid voter suppression fears

Texans were told late last night that nine out of ten drive through voting centres in Harris County will be shut over fears that the votes would be contested by Republicans, Margi Murphy reports. 

This could cause chaos as voters turn up to closed sites, and cause longer lines that may put voters off waiting. 

Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins was forced to shut the centres down over concerns that continued legal challenges from a conservative activist and three Republican candidates may impact the validity of votes cast there. 

Voters in Houston have been lining up to vote at the drive-through polling station in the Toyota Centre since the early morning - Sandy Huffaker /Getty Images North America 
Voters in Houston have been lining up to vote at the drive-through polling station in the Toyota Centre since the early morning - Sandy Huffaker /Getty Images North America

A judge on Monday denied the group’s attempt to throw out the 127,000 votes that had already been cast, but Hollins is concerned that the Republicans may use the grey area of whether the drive through tents are legally binding “structures” to void further votes. 

The centres were built to provide a virus safe place for one of the countries most populous counties for early voting. It was hoped the centres, serving Harris County’s almost five million citizens, would open again for election day. 

03:58 PM

Voting heats up in swing state Pennsylvania

Our US Correspondent Josie Ensor is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the swing state with 20 electoral votes which has become a very close race.

She reports that lines were long but orderly as polls opened across this city this morning. According to data, more than 2.4 million eligible voters — out of a potential 9 million registrants — have already cast their ballots early in Pennsylvania, more than 10 times the number in 2016.

Many were worried about challenges to a recent Supreme Court ruling that mail-in ballots cast in the state can be counted up to Friday as long as they are marked as having been sent by 8pm today.

This means we may not know the result here for days, which has left many anxious.

"We are worried, but what can we do but leave it to the lawyers," Glenn Goldstein, 61, told the Telegraph outside a polling station in downtown Philadelphia. "I think we're going to be ok, I don't think people really want to start shooting each other over it." 

Both candidates have spent a lot of time campaigning in the state, which came out for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 but gave Mr Trump a narrow victory last election.

Joe Biden, who was born in the Pennsylvanian city of Scranton, is due here later today.

03:51 PM

Campaigners hit polling stations

Caravans of Trump supporters clogged traffic around the New York metropolitan area this weekend.

In Texas, cars and pickup trucks festooned with Trump flags swarmed a Biden campaign bus, sometimes boxing it in. Trump criticised the F.B.I. for investigating the incident, calling the drivers "patriots".

So far, today seems to be on track for a similar outpouring. Both Trump and Biden supporters have taken to polling stations in a last ditch effort to sway voters. 

 A truck decorated in support of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Tampa, Florida - Getty Images North America 
A truck decorated in support of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Tampa, Florida - Getty Images North America
A Trump supporter campaigns on Election Day at the Weston Branch Library in Weston, Florida - South Florida Sun-Sentinel 
A Trump supporter campaigns on Election Day at the Weston Branch Library in Weston, Florida - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Campaign volunteers wave posters in support of Joe Biden in Tampa, Florida  - Getty Images North America 
Campaign volunteers wave posters in support of Joe Biden in Tampa, Florida - Getty Images North America
Supporters of President Trump cheer as passing cars honk their horns near a polling location in Houston - AP
Supporters of President Trump cheer as passing cars honk their horns near a polling location in Houston - AP

03:44 PM

Election cyberwar in full swing

US intelligence agencies and tech companies have repeatedly warned that multiple foreign countries, including Russia and Iran, are intervening in the 2020 election via cyber attacks and information warfare. 

Laurence Dodds, our US tech reporter, reports:

It's morning in America, and the election cyberwar is already beginning. I've just come off a conference call held by the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), where senior officials confirmed multiple ongoing attempts to influence the vote or sow distrust in it.

There are robocalls in Michigan trying to suppress the vote; ransomware attacks targeting government systems in New York state; and Chinese-Americans are receiving disinformation on WeChat, a popular Chinese messaging app, trying to discourage them from going to the polls.

Officials said that neither Russia nor Iran, both known to be interfering in the election, have yet penetrated any election systems such as voting machines or vote tabulation databases. They said the agency remains confident that the voting process is secure and reliable.

But they warned Americans that key websites might be hacked and defaced today, or taken offline by distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks, which can shut down sites by bombarding them with automated internet traffic.

03:38 PM

Another important race rages on

All eyes are focused on Donald Trump as he pursues another term in the White House, but another important race rages on.

The battle for the United States Senate, culminating today, is also hugely significant for the future of the country. 

Control of the Senate is a razor-close proposition in today's election, as Republicans fight to retain their majority against a surge of Democratic candidates confronting the president's allies across a vast political map.

Both parties see paths to victory, and the outcome might not be known on election night.

From New England to the Deep South, the Midwest to the Mountain West, Republican senators are defending seats in states once considered long shots for Democrats. Washington's handling of the Covid-19 crisis, the economic fallout and the nation's uneasy mood are all on the ballot.

Securing the Senate majority will be vital for the winner of the presidency. Senators confirm administration nominees, including the Cabinet, and can propel or stall the White House agenda.

With Republicans now controlling the chamber, 53-47, three or four seats will determine party control, depending on who wins the presidency because the vice president can break a tie.

03:32 PM

Four years of Trump: the key moments

Since his victory in 2016 and inauguration in 2017, President Donald Trump has been at the helm of one of the most unconventional and eventful presidencies in recent memory.

From the inauguration crowd size controversy, to meeting Kim Jong-un and swearing in three Supreme Court justices, Mr Trump ploughed ahead with his unique style of leadership which sometimes stumped even the most seasoned of Washington correspondents.

To round off his term in office, Mr Trump faced both an impeachment and a devastating pandemic in the months leading up to the 2020 election.

or a refresher of all the key moments that have defined President Trump's time in the White House, watch the video below.

03:23 PM

A day for change in Texas?

Could Texans have woken up to their last day in a red state? Political experts predict the long held Repubican stronghold could be moving into swing state territory, reports Margi Murphy in Austin. 

Hillary Clinton won San Antonio, Austin, Dallas and Houston in 2016 and  now it is hoped that the cities’ neighbouring counties, which have a more diverse population, may turn blue too. 

Democratic supporters in San Antonio - AP
Democratic supporters in San Antonio - AP

Presidential campaigns tend to spend less in Texas as it is not seen as a competitive state but Kamala Harris’ last ditch tour of key counties: Harris, Tarrant and Fort Bend, suggests the Biden campaign thinks there may be momentum here. 

Even if the entire state does not flip blue (something that last happened in 1976) the contrast of old and new Texas will be played out in Texas’ individual counties.

Today’s battle for a seat in Houston’s Fort Bend County, held by Republicans for 41 years, is expected to be won by popular Democrat Sri Preston Kulkarni, a Chinese-speaking Indian-American.

03:16 PM

Analysis: key moments of Trump Fox appearance

Donald Trump sounded hoarse on Fox News this morning for an unannounced election day call into one of his favourite programs on the channel, Fox & Friends, reports our US Editor Ben Riley-Smith.

It is understandable. The US president has done no fewer than 10 rallies in the last two days of campaigning, including in close to freezing temperatures in the Midwest. 

During the phone interview, for which he was around 45 minutes late, Mr Trump projected optimism even as he sounded tired from his intensive campaigning in the battleground states. 

He predicted he would win more than the 306 electoral votes he got in 2016. Under the electoral college system in America, which decides the winner, a candidate must get more than 270 to become president. 

Mr Trump also continued to decry the Supreme Court's decision not to stop Pennsylvania counting mail-in ballots which arrive up to three days after election day. They must have been submitted before then. 

The president said "we’re going to be weighing in", another hint at legal action to come in the critical swing state. He also warned of the result: "It’s a very dangerous thing to be waiting.”

03:11 PM

Kanye West votes for himself

Kanye West announced via Twitter today that he had voted for himself to be President of the United States.

It will come as a relief to many to know he has received at least one vote after his reported $7 million USD self-funded campaign for the top job.

Public contributions totaling $11,000 also helped to top up the rapper's 2020 campaign.

"Today I am voting for the first time in my life for the President of the United States, and it's for someone I truly trust...me," Kanye said. 

03:07 PM

In picture: Joe Biden hits hometown

Joe Biden speaks through a megaphone during an event on Election Day in Scranton - REUTERS
Joe Biden speaks through a megaphone during an event on Election Day in Scranton - REUTERS
A supporter holds a sign - REUTERS
A supporter holds a sign - REUTERS
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks to supporters at a canvass kickoff - Getty Images North America 
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks to supporters at a canvass kickoff - Getty Images North America
Joe Biden greets a supporters as he speaks at Canvas Kick Off - AFP
Joe Biden greets a supporters as he speaks at Canvas Kick Off - AFP

02:57 PM

Major court win for Democrats in Nevada

A judge has thrown out a Republican lawsuit aimed at stopping votes cast early in heavily populated Clark County being counted, reports our US Correspondent David Millward. 

Republicans said that the arrangements denied them the opportunity to verify signatures and challenge ballots which had been mailed in early.

Around 70 per cent of Nevada's voters live in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas and which is expected to lean Democrat.

The Trump campaign hoped that it might be able to flip Nevada and its six Electoral College Votes.

"Today's ruling makes clear that there is a proper procedure to observe an election that even the president must follow, and it's most certainly a victory for the constitutional rights of all Nevadans," said Aaron Ford, the state's attorney general.

Michael McDonald, the Republicans' chairman in Nevada called the ruling a "dark day" adding that he was considering whether to appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.

02:42 PM

Michael Cohen votes Biden

Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen revealed he had voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and he posed with an "I Voted" sticker this morning. 

Cohen was Donald Trump’s fixer and confidant for more than a decade but flipped on the president during the Russian election meddling investigation and was ultimately jailed for lying to Congress.

“Apart from his wife and children, I knew Trump better than anyone else did,” Cohen wrote in his memoir Disloyal

Mr Cohen was sentenced for his role in hush money payments to two women, pornographic film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougall, who said they had sexual relationships with Mr Trump. The president has denied having relationships with either woman. 

02:31 PM

Biden hits hometown Scranton

For Joe Biden, it all comes down to Pennsylvania: His hometown of Scranton was the first stop his Election Day tour of the state. 

Pennsylvania is key to Mr Biden's White House hopes. While his aides say he has multiple paths to nab 270 Electoral College votes, his easiest is by winning Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. 

The Democratic nominee has campaigned in the Keystone State more than any other.

Joe Biden speaks to supporters as he arrives with his granddaughters in Scranton, Pennsylvania - AFP
Joe Biden speaks to supporters as he arrives with his granddaughters in Scranton, Pennsylvania - AFP

The cities Biden is visiting Tuesday hold both strategic and symbolic significance: Mr Biden has made his working-class upbringing in Scranton a centerpiece of his campaign.

He has framed his economic pitch from the perspective of Scranton versus Wall Street, as he seeks to win back the blue-collar voters who helped deliver Donald Trump a win in 2016. 

While boarding his flight on Tuesday morning, Mr Biden tossed a thumbs up to the traveling press and said he was feeling "good". 

02:18 PM

First in-person votes cast and counted

The people of Dixville Notch in New Hampshire continued a 60 year tradition, casting their votes in the US Election at the stroke of midnight on election day.

02:07 PM

What is the Electoral College?

Donald Trump has said he expects to win by a larger electoral margin than he did in 2016 - but what does this mean?

In 2016 Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but Donald Trump won the presidency because of the Electoral College system. 

In the election, Americans vote for candidates called 'electors' in their state who are supporting the candidate they want to become president - this process is called the Electoral College.

US 2020 election
US 2020 election

The more people to live in a state, the more electors there are for that state. So, California for example, with a population of 38.8 million, has 55 votes - while Delaware, (pop. 936,000), has just three votes. 

This means some states, known as the ‘Swing States’, carry more weight and overrule the popular vote. 

There are currently 538 electors in total, corresponding to the 435 Representatives (congressmen and women) and 100 Senators, plus the three additional electors from the District of Columbia. 

The candidate with the most electors wins all the state's electoral college votes and the first candidate to win enough states to get to 270 electoral votes is elected to that office.

01:40 PM

'Joe Biden is not prime time'

Running behind in most opinion polls, Donald Trump bashed his opponent Joe Biden, "biased" media and the "extreme" left as he repeated his argument for reelection to four more years in the White House.

"Joe Biden is not prime time," he said during an interview with Fox News on Tuesday.

Mr Trump called it "terrible" and "dangerous" that millions of votes mailed in might still not be counted on Wednesday.

But he downplayed allegations that he planned to prematurely declare victory Tuesday evening before enough of the vote is tallied to determine the winner.

"I think we'll have victory, but only when there's victory," he said. "There's no reason to play games."

01:37 PM

Trump returns to White House as voting start

Donald Trump was greeted by a crowd of supporters as he returned to the White House in the early hours of Election Day.

Wearing his MAGA hat, Mr Trump got up close to the crowd and stopped for several selfies on his way inside.

01:29 PM

Trump: rioting will only happen in 'Democratic cities'

As Election Day heats up - along with the prospect of protests across the country - Donald Trump has commented on the predicted civil unrest. 

When asked about the potential for "rioting or looting" during a Fox News on Tuesday morning, Mr Trump said such unrest will only happen in "Democrat cities". 

"My side is a very strong side if they wanted to but they don't like doing that. They're very proud of our country, they don't want to hurt our country," he said. 

Mr Trump went on to lash out at police forces across the country, accusing them of "standing back" during violent outbursts. 

"Frankly if you let people know there'd be hell to pay they wouldn't do it. But they don't do that," he said. 

“It’s a shame,” he added, referring to the boarded up store fronts in New York and elsewhere, fearing violence depending on the election outcome. “To me, it’s a very sad thing. No reason for it."

01:21 PM

Trump feels 'very good' about chances

President Donald Trump said he felt good about his chances for victory as the US election opened Tuesday, predicting that he would register big victories in key states such as Florida and Arizona.

"We feel very good," a hoarse-voiced Mr Trump told Fox News in a phone interview. "I think we'll have victory."

The president said he expected victory in all the key states that will decide the election.

"We think we are winning Texas very big. We think we are winning Florida very big. We think we are winning Arizona very big," he said.

"I think we are going to do very well in North Carolina. I think we are going to do well in Pennsylvania. We think we are doing very well everywhere."

01:12 PM

The key things to watch out for and know

Here is everything you need to know and look out for as the final votes for President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden are cast:

  • The US is confronting multiple crises and is choosing between two candidates with very different visions for the future.

  • Mr Trump has downplayed the coronavirus outbreak and bucked public health guidelines by holding his signature campaign rallies featuring crowds of supporters - often unmasked - packed shoulder to shoulder.

  • His reelection depends on driving up his margins in rural areas and smaller towns and cities.

  • Mr Biden has said he would heed the advice of scientists. The Democrats stopped knocking on doors in the spring, going all-digital and phone. 

  •  He has pledged to work with state and local officials across the country to push mask mandates and has called on Congress to pass a sweeping response package.

  • Each major party can install official poll watchers at precincts. It is the first time in decades Republicans could use the practice after the expiration of a court order limiting their activities. 

  • The bigger issue is likely to be unofficial "poll watchers"  - especially self-declared militias.

  • Absentee voting amid coronavirus has changed the vote-counting timeline, and there are not uniform practices for counting across the states. This makes it difficult to predict when certain key battlegrounds might be called.

12:58 PM

Biden visits son's grave on Election Day

Democratic candidate Joe Biden has been spotted in public for the first time on Election Day as he visited the grave of Beau Biden with his wife, Dr Jill Biden, and other family members. 

Beau Biden, an Iraq veteran, died from brain cancer in 2015 aged 46. Mr Biden is regularly spotted visiting the grave at St Joseph Church in Wilmington, Delaware. 

Mr Biden often speaks on the campaign trail of his son's courage while deployed to Iraq as a major in the Delaware Army National Guard.

Joe Biden walks with his granddaughter Finnegan Biden - AP 
Joe Biden walks with his granddaughter Finnegan Biden - AP
Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden leave St. Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church - AFP 
Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden leave St. Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church - AFP

12:48 PM

How Trump undermined US aid

When Donald Trump became president in 2016, his victory was based on an “America First” platform. In the administration's debut budget in 2017, that looked like catastrophic news for those who came in second: the rest of the world, particularly low- and middle-income countries.

While it is the world's largest provider of foreign assistance in terms of dollars, America falls near the bottom of the OECD countries when spending is compared to its gross national income.

Yet for decades, the US has remained the biggest player on the global stage thanks to its sheer spending power - a role that has been dramatically undermined during the Trump presidency due to the constant spectre of cuts.

From using foreign aid as a bargaining chip to tightening the “global gag rule”, an executive order that effectively prevents any non-US charity from offering abortions or any such services, Trump's rhetoric and unique style of politics has repeatedly tied the aid sector in noughts.

Now many in the international development community are left wondering whether they can survive another four years under Trump.

Jennifer Rigby, Sarah Newey and Anne Gulland have the story here. 

12:36 PM

In pictures: the Americans hit polls on Election Day

Voters arrive to cast their ballots at the Kentucky Exposition Center during the election in Louisville, Kentucky - REUTERS
Voters arrive to cast their ballots at the Kentucky Exposition Center during the election in Louisville, Kentucky - REUTERS
Presidential Election at the Brooklyn Museum in New York - Shutterstock
Presidential Election at the Brooklyn Museum in New York - Shutterstock
People vote in the 2020 general elections at a polling station in Manhattan - TASS
People vote in the 2020 general elections at a polling station in Manhattan - TASS
Voters wait in line at a polling station on US Election Day in Winchester, Virginia  - AFP
Voters wait in line at a polling station on US Election Day in Winchester, Virginia - AFP
A voter casts his ballot at a polling station on US Election Day in Winchester, Virginia - AFP
A voter casts his ballot at a polling station on US Election Day in Winchester, Virginia - AFP

12:12 PM

Biden: 'I'll hire Dr Fauci... and fire Trump'

Democratic nominee Joe Biden said he would “hire” Dr Anthony Fauci as he reacted to Donald Trump’s claims that he would fire the top infectious disease expert. 

Speaking at a rally in Ohio, the former vice president said: "We're going to fire Donald Trump."

"The first step to beating the virus is beating Donald Trump," he added. 

Mr Biden has sought to keep the presidential campaign focused on the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 231,000 people in the US.

Mr Trump meanwhile has used the race's final hours to accuse Mr Biden of wanting to force the country back into a lockdown to slow the spread of the virus.

During a rally that started late Sunday in Opa-locka, Florida, the Republican president expressed frustration that the surging virus cases remain prominent in the news, sparking chants of "Fire Fauci" from his supporters.

Mr Trump replied, "Don't tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election."

12:02 PM

New Yorkers line up to vote

Polling stations opened at 6am EST (11am GMT) in New York this morning and long lines are already forming. 

11:47 AM

Winston Churchill's granddaughter votes Biden

Winston Churchill's granddaughter Edwina Sandys revealed she voted for Joe Biden in an op-ed published in USA Today as she attacked Donald Trump's time in office. 

“Trump compared himself to my grandfather, but he's no Winston Churchill. I voted for Biden and today I'm joining Republicans and Independents for Biden,” she said. 

Ms Sandys went on to scathingly condemn Mr Trump's decision to playdown the coronavirus pandemic - something she claims her grandfather would never have done.

"President Donald Trump's inaction and lies about the Covid-19 crises have persisted as hundreds of thousands of American lives are being lost. My grandfather did not mince words about the Nazi threat - or say something like, 'Hitler will be gone - disappear - like a miracle!' He trusted people with the truth, even when difficult.”

Mr Trump has compared himself to the wartime leader on numerous occasions. 

“As the British government advised the British people in the face of World War II, ‘Keep calm and carry on.' That’s what I did,” he told supporters at a Michigan rally in September. "When Hitler was bombing London, Churchill, great leader, would oftentimes go to a roof in London and speak. He always spoke with confidence. He said we have to show calmness. Nah, we did it the right way."

11:33 AM

Biden polling higher than Clinton

11:18 AM

Obama calls Trump a 'two-bit dictator'

Barack Obama branded Donald Trump a "two-bit dictator" as he held an election eve rally in Miami, Florida on Monday to give a final push for his former deputy Joe Biden.

The former president criticised his successor for casting doubt on the results of Tuesday's presidential election and suggested Mr Trump could attempt to "declare victory before all the votes are counted tomorrow".

11:03 AM

Polls due to open in battle state Pennsylvania

The polls are due to open  at 7am EST in the critical battle state of Pennsylvania, which has hit the spotlight for its rules on mail-in voting. 

Both candidates have worked hard during their campaigns to get the state on their side - one that Donald Trump managed to win with less than one per cent of the electorate in 2016. 

Experts say Pennsylvania could be huge in determining the outcome of today’s election.

The state attorney general of Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro, sparked controversy this morning after suggesting Mr Trump had already lost the state more than 24 hours before the polls were due to close. 

“If all the votes are added up in PA, Trump is going to lose,” Mr Shapiro posted to Twitter late Monday evening. “That's why he's working overtime to subtract as many votes as possible from this process.”

Mr Shapiro’s comments come at a particularly sensitive time. On Monday, Mr Trump claimed a recent Supreme Court ruling could cost him votes in the state. The ruling allows Pennsylvania to accept mail ballots sent by Election Day and received up to three days later.

“The Supreme Court decision on voting in Pennsylvania is a VERY dangerous one. It will allow rampant and unchecked cheating and will undermine our entire systems of laws. It will also induce violence in the streets,” Mr Trump tweeted.

Joe Biden is also keenly aware of the state's importance, having launched his campaign there. He is due to spend election night in his birthplace of Scranton as he works to appeal to the union-households that flipped it from a Democratic stronghold to a Trump base in 2016. 

So far, unlike much of the country, early voting in Pennsylvania has been slow. Less than 40 per cent of the state’s total 2016 electorate have cast their ballots so far, and we can expect busy polling stations throughout the day. 

10:45 AM

Learn more: the key swing states and why they matter

The key for either party to win the presidential election is to target specific swing states.

These battlegrounds are areas which have unclear party loyalties, and have historically swung between voting for Republican and Democrat candidates in past elections. They hold the key to winning the US 2020 election.

Due to the winner-takes-all voting system, in all but two states, candidates often choose to campaign in the most competitive states. This is why only select areas receive the majority of adverts during election campaigns.

There are eight swing states where the 2020 election could be won or lost:

10:27 AM

Observers on lookout for voter intimidation

The American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups say they are watching closely for signs of voter intimidation on Election Day. 

The ACLU's Georgia affiliate deployed around 300 lawyers across the state at about 50 potential "hot spots" for voting trouble on Tuesday, including 15 polling places in Atlanta.

"We have poll observers who are looking out for any voter intimidation," Andrea Young, ACLU Georgia's executive director, told reporters. "We don't know exactly what will happen, but we want to be as ready as possible."

The US Justice Department's Civil Rights Division is deploying staff to 18 states to monitor voter intimidation and suppression, including in some battleground counties and in cities shaken by civil unrest this year.

10:14 AM

Follow our election livestream

The 2020 US Election day is upon us, From East to West, day and night, this livestream will bring you all the highlights as the votes are cast and counted.

While Joe Biden holds a lead over Donald Trump in the prediction polls, several swing states are still too close to call.

This election is likely to go down in history as one of the most unconventional US presidential races ever held due to the uncertainty the coronavirus pandemic has caused.

Watch below or at the top of this page.

09:59 AM

Lady Gaga rallies behind Biden

Pop star Lady Gaga told American voters to back the Democrats as she joined Joe Bien for a surprise visit to the University of Pittsburgh's campus Monday afternoon.

“Now is your chance to vote against Donald Trump, a man who believes his fame gives him the right to grab one of your daughters or sisters or mothers or wives by any part of their body,” she told the crowd. “Vote for Joe, he's a good person.”

The 34-year-old Grammy winner sat down at a white piano to give a short but inspired musical warmup to the Biden headliner. She alluded to the tensions that have swelled in the United States ahead of the poll, imploring Americans to accept the result peacefully. 

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Lady Gaga greet college students at Schenley Park - Getty Images North America 
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Lady Gaga greet college students at Schenley Park - Getty Images North America

Lady Gaga, who once lived in Pennsylvania, has been in this position before. In 2016, she helped close out the campaign of Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Mr Biden has a slight lead in the pivotal state, which Mr  Trump won by less than a percentage point in 2016.

09:46 AM

Listen to ‘The Trump Card’ podcast

Nigel Farage has met with Donald Trump more than any other British politician in recent years. The pair share a following, a fervour and a friendship.

Who better, then, to tell us what the President is like when the cameras are off, what norms he’s willing to break and who forms his inner circle?

In The Telegraph’s three-part podcast, The Trump Card, hosted by chief political correspondent, Christopher Hope, the Brexit Party leader pulls back the curtain on his friendship with the President.

Listen to the episodes on the audio player below, in which Mr Farage he explains why he's certain the polls are wrong, and why a Biden presidency would make a "laughing stock of America."

The Trump Card: The Final Showdown (podcast)
The Trump Card: The Final Showdown (podcast)

09:32 AM

Wisconsin election chief: results could be delayed

A Wisconsin elections official has warned that it could take until Wednesday or longer for the state's unofficial results are in. 

Wisconsin's Attorney General Josh Kaul sought to allay any concerns however, telling voters it is “not a sign that anything is going wrong with the process”. 

"It's a sign the process is working, that our courts are following the law and that every lawfully cast ballot is being counted,” he said. 

Postal Voting Explainer – US Election 2020
Postal Voting Explainer – US Election 2020

More than half of Wisconsin’s voters have already cast their ballot, with many opting for mail-in voting.

The absentee turnout in the state amounts for 63 per cent of the state’s 2016 electorate so far. These ballots cannot be counted until Election Day, which more than likely means a delay in the results. 

Wisconsin is a key battleground state this election, and mail-in voting has become a key point of contention.  

Donald Trump has questioned the integrity of the election results for months, making unsubstantiated claims that mail-in voting is rife with fraud and refusing to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses.

09:16 AM

Has Trump delivered on his 2016 campaign promises?

Watch below to see the Telegraph's Rosa Prince outline how well Donald Trump has fared in his first term.

09:00 AM

US coronavirus outbreak entering ‘deadly phase’

A top White House official delivered a bleak warning on Monday, cautioning the Trump administration that the coronavirus is entering a new and “deadly phase”.

Dr. Deborah L. Birx, a leader in the administration's response to the pandemic, demanded a more aggressive approach as she predicted that the US will continue to see days where over 100,000 cases are recorded per day.

"We are entering the most concerning and most deadly phase," Dr Birx wrote in a memo distributed to top administration officials. 

She added that the nation was not implementing "balanced" measures needed to slow the spread of the virus. One recipient confirmed the contents that were initially reported Monday by The Washington Post.

Dr Brix also warned against the type of rallies Mr Trump has been holding during his reelection campaign. Many supporters have neglected to wear masks or follow social distancing regulations. 

The pandemic has become a defining aspect of the election, with many supporters turning towards Democratic candidate Joe Biden in the hope of a more vigorous approach. 

08:44 AM

In pictures: the final days of campaigning

08:30 AM

Build the wall: White House given extra protection

In Washington DC, officials were busy overnight building a non-scalable fence around the White House. 

The approximately 8,000ft long barricade blocks off a large green area south of the White House, the Ellipse, and Lafayette Square to the north.

It serves as a warning ahead of an Election Day predicted to see civil unrest. 

The barricade is similar to that used during the Black Lives Matter protests back in June, and is made of a welded wire mesh both difficult to climb and cut into. 

According to NBC News, at least 250 members of the National Guard are on standby in the capital. 

08:15 AM

America braces for election violence

Cities across the United States were battening down the hatches as they prepared for potential riots in the wake of the election on Tuesday.

With the country more bitterly divided than at any time since the Vietnam War in the 1970s it was feared a disputed result could set off nationwide clashes.

In Washington businesses near the White House, including hotels, banks and restaurants, boarded up their windows, as did those in iconic New York locations including Times Square and Fifth Avenue.

 Read more about how the country has prepared for Election Day here.

08:01 AM

Trump supporters flock to Michigan

President Donald Trump rallied supporters in a midnight rally, declaring that he would win Michigan "so easily" as he wraps up his reelection campaign. 

Thousands of supporters gathered in Grand Rapids to cheer on Mr Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

Despite polling showing the president trailing behind Democratic candidate Joe Biden, Mr Trump sought to play down any concern.

"I think we're doing well all over," he told Michigan supporters as he predicted a "red wave".

A supporter of US President Donald Trump gives a thumb's up as he arrives to attend his final Make America Great Again rally  - AFP
A supporter of US President Donald Trump gives a thumb's up as he arrives to attend his final Make America Great Again rally - AFP
Supporters of US President Donald Trump arrive to attend his final Make America Great Again rally - AFP
Supporters of US President Donald Trump arrive to attend his final Make America Great Again rally - AFP
President Donald Trump smiles after speaking during the rally - Getty Images North America 
President Donald Trump smiles after speaking during the rally - Getty Images North America
Supporters of US President Donald Trump pose by a carricature of Trump flushing Biden - AFP
Supporters of US President Donald Trump pose by a carricature of Trump flushing Biden - AFP

07:41 AM

Welcome to our live election coverage

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of Election Day. For those of you who are just joining us, here is everything you need to know:

  • Last night both candidates made some of their last attempts to get voters on their side. 

  • Joe Biden headed to Pennsylvania where he was joined by singer Lady Gaga at a rally in Pittsburgh, while Donald Trump delivered a midnight speech in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

  • The president continued his campaign against mail-in ballots, suggesting he would deploy lawyers if states are still counting votes after Tuesday.

  • Today, Mr Trump will visit his campaign headquarters in Virginia and Mr Biden will travel to his birthplace of Scranton, Pennsylvania. 

  • The nation remains on high alert for civil unrest, with buildings boarded up and state governors asking national guard to prepare for deployment in the event of protests.

  • Mr Trump has predicted his victory and invited supporters to an election-night party in the White House. 

  • Twitter and Facebook both said they would attach warning labels to messages that prematurely claim an election victory.

  • The pandemic rages on and is a defining issue for the election. White House advisor Deborah Birx warned that the nation is “entering the most concerning and most deadly phase of this pandemic”.

07:12 AM

New Hampshire towns cast votes after midnight

Voters in Dixville Notch, a village of 12 residents in the US state of New Hampshire, kicked off Election Day at the stroke of midnight on Tuesday by voting unanimously for Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

The vote and count only took a few minutes, with five votes for Biden and none for President Donald Trump.

The tiny northeastern town in the middle of the forest, near the Canadian border, has traditionally voted "first in the nation" since 1960.

Neighboring village Millsfield also begins voting at midnight but a third village in the area, which typically follows the same tradition, canceled overnight voting due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Electoral laws in New Hampshire allow municipalities with fewer than 100 residents to open their polling stations at midnight and to close them when all registered voters have fulfilled their civic duty.

Most polling stations on the East Coast will open at 6 or 7am (11am or 12am GMT) on Tuesday.

But with a huge expansion in mail-in voting to safeguard against the Covid-19 pandemic, a record of nearly 100 million people have already cast ballots.

05:57 AM

Can Trump pull off another shock?

On first reading, the data looks dire for Donald Trump.

Poll after poll from not only the previous few days but weeks and months showed the president trailing his Democrat rival Joe Biden nationally.

In fact no eventual winner of a US presidential election has gone into the first debate trailing their main challenger in national polling as much as Trump did on the eve of the TV head-to-heads.

But if Trump can hold on to his electoral base - and avoid tanking in the polls even further - re-election is still within his reach.

Key to another unexpected win will be a handful of states where the race is on a knife edge. This year North Carolina, Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Arizona could all be decisive in the election's outcome.

Read more: Can Trump win a second term?

04:48 AM

Why Florida is so important today

There is one certainty today: the election in Florida will be exceptionally close. 

Often, the divide between rd and blue in this state is so tight it is hard to call - but it can be hugely important for the outcome of the election. 

In 2000 the race between Al Gore and George W Bush was deadlocked. It all came down to Florida. Of almost six million votes cast in the state, the Republicans managed to edge out the Democrats by just 537 votes. The legacy of this election lives on today. 

Florida has voted for the winner in all but two of the elections held since 1924, and every single one since 1996. In the six elections since 1996, three Democrats and three Republicans have been voted in by Floridians. 

An NBC News poll released on Thursday showed Mr Biden has the backing of 51 per cent of Florida voters, while Mr Trump has just 47 per cent. 

Read more: Why winning Florida's votes is crucial

03:37 AM

Biden: 'Take back' democracy from Trump

Joe Biden has concluded his last major rally on the eve of the US election by calling on voters to "take back" American democracy from President Donald Trump.

"It's time to stand up and take back our democracy. We can do this," the 77-year-old former vice president said as he wrapped up a boisterous drive-in rally in Pittsburgh in the critical swing state of Pennsylvania.

"I have a feeling we're coming together for a big win tomorrow," he said to cheers and honks.

Biden with Lady Gaga at a Democrat rally in Pittsburgh on Monday - AP
Biden with Lady Gaga at a Democrat rally in Pittsburgh on Monday - AP

02:40 AM

FBI warns of violence in Portland

The FBI has warned of the potential for armed clashes over the election in Portland, as the northwestern city that has become symbolic of the country's stark divisions braces for unrest.

The liberal enclave in the state of Oregon is still reeling from a summer in which mass anti-racism rallies were inflamed by the arrival of federal officers and right-wing militias, including the so-called Proud Boys.

Tuesday's fiercely polarised vote has spurred fears of more deadly street violence.

Read more: America braced for clashes as National Guard on standby 

02:18 AM

Biden video 'edited to suggest he supports voter fraud'

A video of Joe Biden which is edited to appear as if he is admitting to voter fraud has been viewed more than 17 million times on social media sites, according to a report.

The video was a clip from an appearance by Mr Biden on the podcast Pod Save America on October 24 in which he was asked about election security. In a statement which appears in the video to have been taken out of context, Mr Biden said he and Barack Obama had built “the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organisation in the history of American politics.”

That statement was shared on right-wing YouTube channels, Twitter feeds and Facebook pages. It is not known who made the video.

Facebook did not respond to a request for comment from the New York Times.

Biden campaigning in Pittsburgh on Monday - REUTERS
Biden campaigning in Pittsburgh on Monday - REUTERS

02:01 AM

Twitter and Facebook act on Trump's 'violence in the streets' post

Twitter and Facebook have both taken action on a Donald Trump post predicting “violence in the streets” as a result of a Supreme Court decision that gave election officials longer to count votes, James Titcomb writes.

America’s highest court last week rejected a Republican effort to block a three-day extension to counting votes in the key battleground state, a subject that Mr Trump repeatedly brought up at rallies on Monday.

In identical posts on Twitter and Facebook, the President called it a “VERY dangerous” decision, saying it would allow “rampant and unchecked cheating” and “induce violence in the streets”.

Facebook added a label to the post, which declared that voter fraud is extremely rare. Twitter went further, blocking the tweet from being liked or retweeted and hiding it behind a label saying the tweet is disputed. Both companies have become increasingly active about moderating Mr Trump’s post in recent weeks.

01:44 AM

What is the Electoral College?

American elections are decided by the Electoral College. In 2016, Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by winning more Electoral College votes, despite losing the popular vote. But how does that work?

In the election, Americans vote for candidates called 'electors' in their state who are supporting the candidate they want to become president

The more people to live in a state, the more electors there are for that state. So, California for example, with a population of 38.8 million, has 55 votes - while Delaware, (pop. 936,000), has just three votes.

There are currently 538 electors in total, corresponding to the 435 Representatives (congressmen and women) and 100 Senators, plus the three additional electors from the District of Columbia. The candidate with the most electors wins all the state's Electoral College votes and the first candidate to win enough states to get to 270 electoral votes is elected to that office.

It means that certain states are vital for Electoral College votes – and just a few states could determine the result of the entire election.

Read more: How does the Electoral College work? 

Geographical US election map
Geographical US election map

01:26 AM

Election day - the top stories

Good morning. In a few hours, millions of Americans will be going to the polls in the most unpredictable election in US history. On a momentous day, here are the top stories:

  • Barack Obama branded Donald Trump a "two-bit dictator" as he held an election eve rally in Miami, Florida to give a final push for his former deputy Joe Biden

  • Mr  Biden's campaign manager has said there is "no scenario" in which Mr Trump will be able to declare victory on election night, setting up a battle over the result of the vote

  • Cities across the United States were battening down the hatches as they prepared for potential riots in the wake of the election on Tuesday

  • Mr Trump spent the final day campaigning in Scranton, Pennsylvania – Mr Biden's backyard – in a last-ditch effort to win the vital swing state

  • Facebook and Twitter are preparing "break-glass" measures to shut down disinformation in the event of election chaos

  • The US Secret Service is to erect a "non-scalable" fence around the White House perimeter over fears of unrest after the election