Americans head to polls to choose Trump or Biden

Trump will wrap up his campaign in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the same place he concluded his 2016 presidential run with a post-midnight rally on Election Day.

U.S. President Donald Trump waves to supporters at a campaign rally on the eve of the U.S. mid-term elections at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, U.S., November 5, 2018. (photo credit: CARLOS BARRIA / REUTERS)
U.S. President Donald Trump waves to supporters at a campaign rally on the eve of the U.S. mid-term elections at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, U.S., November 5, 2018.
(photo credit: CARLOS BARRIA / REUTERS)
Americans will go to the polls Tuesday to determine if Democratic challenger and front-runner Joe Biden will unseat incumbent President Donald Trump as the leader of the United States.
Trump and Biden made their final pitches to the American people on Monday ahead of an election day that could set the face of America for years to come.
More than 95 million Americans had cast their votes in the 2020 presidential election by Monday, according to a tally by the US Elections Project at the University of Florida, a harbinger of what is expected to be the highest turnout of modern times. A sharp increase in mail-in and early in-person voting was largely prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The record-breaking number is equal to 69% of the entire voter turnout for the 2016 election. Experts predict turnout will easily surpass the 138 million who voted in 2016. Only 47 million votes were submitted before Election Day four years ago.
A large number of Trump’s Republican supporters are expected to turn up in person to vote on Election Day after Trump sowed distrust, without evidence, of mail-in voting by asserting it was riddled with fraud.
Democrats have largely embraced early voting, not only because of the pandemic, but also because of steps the Trump administration has taken to slow down the processing of US mail.
That unprecedented level of early voting includes 60 million mail-in ballots that could take days or even weeks to be counted in some states, meaning that a winner might very well not be declared in the hours after polls close on Tuesday night.
Both campaigns have mobilized armies of lawyers in preparation for post-election litigation battles.
Twitter said on Monday it would attach a warning label to any tweets, including those from candidates, that claim an election win before either state election officials or national news outlets do so.
Trump trails Biden in national opinion polls. A Reuters/Ipsos poll taken between October 27 and 29 shows Biden ahead by a wide margin: 51% to 43%.
But the race is still a toss-up in battleground states that decide the election through the Electoral College, including Arizona, Florida and North Carolina.
The race in swing states is seen as close enough that Trump could still piece together the 270 votes needed to prevail in the Electoral College that determines the winner, where the victor in each state gets all of its Electoral College votes.
Both candidates spent their last day campaigning in crucial swing states that would determine the winner. Trump, who held nine rallies over the weekend, was set to hold five additional rallies on Monday in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. He won those states in 2016 against Democrat Hillary Clinton, but polls show Biden threatens to recapture all four for Democrats.
In Pennsylvania, Trump was set to hold a rally in Biden’s hometown of Scranton. The president held four events in the State on Saturday, and he hopes to build momentum that would tip the state with its 20 electoral votes in his favor.
Biden, likewise, focused on Pennsylvania on Monday and held an additional event in Cleveland, Ohio, a swing state that is leaning toward Trump, in a last-minute effort to flip the “Buckeye State.” In 2016, the state voted for Trump by a large 8% margin. In Cleveland, Biden reacted to Trump’s speech from Sunday, in which he hinted he might fire Dr. Anthony Fauci after the election. “We are going to hire Dr. Fauci, and we’re going to fire Donald Trump,” said Biden.
Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris were campaigning in Pennsylvania as well on Monday, as both campaigns see the state as the likeliest tipping point of the election. The Biden campaign is working to increase turnout in urban areas, mostly in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, while the Trump campaign is trying to increase turnout in rural areas, who are leaning towards Trump.
“The road to the victory goes straight to the Keystone state,” Pence said in Latrobe. “Tomorrow, we need the people of the Keystone State to show America that Pennsylvania is Trump country.”
 Biden’s and Harris’s spouses spent most of Monday in Pennsylvania as well, splitting up to hit all four corners of a state that has become vital to the former vice president’s hopes. Biden was set to rally union members and African-American voters in the Pittsburgh area before being joined for an evening drive-in rally in the city by mega-singer Lady Gaga.
Trump will wrap up his campaign in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the same place he concluded his 2016 presidential run with a post-midnight rally on Election Day.
 Former president Barack Obama was on the campaign trail as well on Monday, stumping a speech in support of his former VP in Atlanta, Georgia. The last time a Democrat carried the state was in 1992, but recent polls indicate that Georgia is currently considered a toss-up.
Later on Monday, Obama was set to close the campaign in the evening with a rally in Miami.
In a sign of how volatile the election could be, buildings in several cities were boarded up, including along several blocks around the White House and in New York City including the iconic Macy’s flagship store.
The famed shopping destination of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills will also be closed down on Tuesday, police said.
Federal authorities planned to extend the perimeter fencing around the White House by several blocks, encompassing the same area fenced out during this summer’s protests against racism and police brutality, according to American media.
Eight state attorney-generals, representing Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin warned on Monday that they would not tolerate voter intimidation.
“Voter intimidation is illegal in every state, whether it happens in person or from a car,” North Carolina Attorney-General Josh Stein said in a statement. “People who witness concerning behavior should immediately report it to law enforcement authorities.”
Trump questioned the integrity of the US election, saying a vote count that stretched past Election Day on Tuesday would be a “terrible thing” suggesting that his lawyers might get involved.
“I don’t think it’s fair that we have to wait for a long period of time after the election,” Trump told reporters. Some states, including battlegrounds Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, do not start processing mail-in votes until Election Day, slowing the process.
Democrats have pushed mail-in voting as a safe way to cast a ballot in the coronavirus pandemic, while Trump and Republicans are counting on a big Election Day in-person turnout.
To help ensure that mail-in ballots are delivered in a timely fashion, an American judge on Sunday ordered the US Postal Service to remind senior managers they must follow its “extraordinary measures” policy and use its Express Mail Network to expedite ballots.