Polling stations have opened as the first ballots are cast in the long-awaited election pitting Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump.
Voters in nine states – Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont and Virginia – got first crack at electing the new president, with the rest of the US due to get started later in the day.
Clinton and Trump have been campaigning all over the US, in a final bid to woo voters, as the polling and campaigning comes to a close. Both have held rallies in the battleground states of North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Clinton urged voters to back a ‘hopeful, inclusive, big-hearted America’ while Trump told supporters they had a ‘magnificent chance to beat the corrupt system’.
A week ago, Hillary Clinton was riding a seemingly unassailable lead in the national polls. Now, her lead has shrunk dramatically – it could even be within the margin of error.
The investigations into Clinton’s use of a private email server have now been concluded with no charges to be brought against the Democrat candidate. Though, revelations last weekend have already done enough to give Trump momentum into the final week.
It is to be noted that record number of Americans, more than 46 million, have voted early by post or at polling stations. There are signs of a high turnout among Hispanic voters, which is believed to favour Clinton.
Speaking in North Carolina, Republican candidate Trump – who called himself ‘Mr Brexit’ during the campaign – promised that the election day was ‘gonna be Brexit plus, plus, plus’.
On the other hand, Hillary’s last campaign, held in Philadelphia featured Lady Gaga and Bon Jovi. The duo sang Living on a Prayer, before Hillary took to the stage and asked the crowd to ‘vote for an America without walls’.