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US President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden have now done what they can to convince Americans to elect them for four years at the White House. Polls have suggested Mr Biden would be victorious in today’s election, however, a number of factors could change that result.
Nearly 100 million eligible voters have already voted ahead of election day in the US – a record by far.
Mr Trump and his Democratic challenger need at least 270 votes in the electoral college to win, as the US election is decided on state-level, rather than by the popular vote.
In 2016, Hillary Clinton lost out on four years in the White House despite receiving nearly 3million more votes than Mr Trump because of this system.
Reports suggest the majority of voters have already voted ahead of election day due to the coronavirus pandemic.
When will the US election results be announced?
As record numbers of people have already voted, results may come in quicker than usual.
However, it could also result in delays in some states.
The result will be known once one candidate has passed the 270 threshold in the electoral college.
The first polls close in Indiana and Kentucky at 6pm ET (11pm GMT).
At midnight in the UK, (7pm ET) the hugely important state of Florida will close polls.
If the election result is not clear before, most polls will have closed by 9pm ET (2am GMT).
In the hour following this, the results may start looking clearer.
The final polls will close at 11pm ET (4am GMT) in the western part of the US.
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If the election result is not clear by this time, states including California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii may make it clearer.
However, as history has thought us, it’s hard to predict when a result will be obvious.
In 2016, the race between Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton was too close to call on election night, and was only revealed at approximately 2.30am ET (7.30am GMT) the following morning.
But in 2008, Barack Obama’s victory was so obvious that the Associated Press declared him the winner at 11.38pm ET (4.38am GMT).
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, a surge of Americans have casted their ballots my mail.
This may lead to delays in counting votes as some of these will be counted in the days after the election.
If a swing-state has a too-close-to-call result on election night, mail-in votes may overturn this.
Edward Foley, a law professor at Ohio State University, told The Guardian: “We can never have an official winner on election night.
“Even the scenario where we have the most clarity this year, which involves some version of the networks projecting, it’s still all unofficial without the certified results.
“Are we even going to have the capacity to have a projected winner? The answer to that may be yes, depending on how things break out in terms of the different states and the votes.
“But the answer is we might not even have a projected winner if it breaks sort of the other way given the vote counting process.
“Audiences, both in the United States and around the world, just have to be nimble and understand the story could unfold in different directions.”
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