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US election live updates: Too close to call

November 4, 2020

It's still not clear whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden will win the race for the White House, with ballot counting in a handful of crucial battleground states still underway. Follow the latest with DW.

A person watches the U.S. Presidential election early results from a bar in San Diego, California
Image: Mike Blake/REUTERS

Election results based on Associated Press data. All times in GMT/UTC

18:00 This live updates article is now closed. For the latest, click here.

17:48 Chairman of the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with the US, Radislav Sikorski, told DW that if the US election leads to a constitutional crisis, it would be another blemish on America's soft power.

"The votes of Americans are not equal," Sikorski said, pointing to how Trump is set to lose the popular vote while still having a chance to be elected.

In terms of the transatlantic relationship Sikorski said noted that it was better for Europe to have someone the bloc could work with.  

"Of course, we don't take sides but we know that he is a uniquely hostile president to the European Union. He backed Brexit and Mr Farage, he's called us a foe. He's threatened us with sanctions. And we would prefer to have someone in Washington with whom we could jointly have a strategy about how to manage a more assertive China, for example," he added.

16:17 Tom Wolf, the Governor of Pennsylvania, a critical state whose result could help either Trump or Biden win the election, said that a full count may not be available on Wednesday. So far, the state has tallied roughly 50% of mail in ballots.

"Millions of mail-in ballots" are being counted, he told a press conference. "So we may not know the results even today, but the most important thing is that we have accurate results, even if that takes a little longer than we're used to," Wolf added.

The Democratic governor urged patience, saying Pennsylvania intends to keep "the promise of democracy" that every vote counts. 

16:03 Social media giant Twitter labeled a tweet from President Donald Trump as "misleading," claiming ballot irregularities, as he wrote that there had been "surprise ballot dumps" in states where he had been leading Democrat Joe Biden in the race for the White House.

Users were able to read the tweets after clicking through a warning label that read: "some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading."

15:47 Wall Street stocks opened higher Wednesday, with the Dow Jones up 1%, following market volatility around the world responding to uncertainty over the election outcome. 

Read moreMarkets volatile as US election race tightens

15:18 It is the morning after election day in the US, and Americans still don't know who their next president will be, with millions of votes left to be counted.

At this point, the road to the White House for both candidates likely goes through the upper Midwest states of Wisconsin and Michigan, with 10 and 16 electoral votes at stake respectively, and the Mid-Atlantic state of Pennsylvania, carrying 20 electoral votes.

Each of the three states is hotly contested. Biden currently has a razor-thin lead in Wisconsin and Michigan, with the last votes currently being tallied and the race still too close to call. Trump is currently ahead in Pennsylvania, however, the vote count is taking longer due to the high proportion of mail-in ballots.

Early Wednesday, Governor Tom Wolf tweeted that there were over 1 million ballots left to be counted and promised "every vote" would be tallied. Ballots postmarked by November 3 can be accepted even if they arrive up to three days after the election.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro told CNN Wednesday, "we are going to get a clearer picture by the end of the day, but we can get ballots up until Friday."

13:58 Twitter has labeled a tweet from the chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin Ben Wikler, suggesting that the party had won the state, as potentially misleading. 

11:32 The Nevada Elections Division says the state won't release further election results until 9 a.m. PST (1700 GMT/UTC) on Thursday.

The agency said it still has to count mail-in ballots received on Tuesday, mail-in ballots that will be received over the next week as well as provisional ballots.

"Ballots outstanding is difficult to estimate in Nevada because every voter was sent a mail ballot. Obviously, not all will vote," the division tweeted.

Approximately 86% of Nevada's votes have already been counted, with the two candidates nearly tied. Biden holds a razor-thin lead of 49.3%-48.7%. If Biden is elected, his most likely path to victory will be through Nevada and Wisconsin.

If he wins those two states, victories in Georgia, Michigan or Pennsylvania could give him enough to win the presidency.

10:44 Franziska Brantner, the German Green party's leading parliamentarian on European affairs, has told DW she hopes Europe will maintain its own sovereignty, regardless of who wins the US election.

"I hope that we Europeans take the decision to be a player ourselves and invest in our own capacity to act to make the euro a strong currency, to invest in our own digital sovereignty," Brantner said.

"I think we, as Europeans, are better advised to take care of our own sovereignty and invest in this, regardless of who wins."

Brantner also said that domestic issues in the US would be one of the major focuses during the next presidential term — taking attention away from cooperation with Europe.

"I think also that will be the case if Biden wins, he will have to obviously deal with many internal issues. It's very tight. There are so many internal difficulties in the US. He will be absorbed — if he wins — by internal questions."

10:25 French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire says the outcome of the US election won't significantly impact US-Europe trade relations.

"Let's not kid ourselves. The United States has not been a friendly partner to European states for several years now," he told France's Radio Classique. 

"Whether Joe Biden or Donald Trump is elected by Americans ... nothing changes this strategic fact," he said. "The American continent has detached itself from the European continent."

The US has imposed billions of dollars' worth of tariffs on European imports over the past four years, with Trump claiming American businesses often have a tough time doing business in Europe. 

In separate comments on Twitter, Le Maire said the EU should "strengthen its economic, political and technological sovereignty" in the face of China and the US, no matter who wins the US presidency.  

09:45 German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz has stressed the importance of a complete vote count in the US election.

"We should all insist that democratic elections take place in full," Scholz said before a meeting of EU finance ministers on Wednesday. "That means they'll be over when all the votes are counted."

He added that the US would remain an important partner for Germany and Europe regardless of who ultimately enters the White House.

The minister's comments came after Trump claimed electoral fraud and said he wanted to stop the counting of votes.

09:21 Germany would "need to adjust ourselves to uncertainty" as the outcome of the US election could hang in the balance for days, warned German Defense Minister Annagret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

"We see that America is deeply divided, there are apparently two realities," she told broadcaster NTV.

When asked if Berlin is ready for another four years of Donald Trump, Kramp-Karrenbauer restated that the German government needed to "deal with any reality in America."

"We would need also need long-term friendship and links to the US in NATO, that is beyond doubt, but we would also have to do more as Europeans," said the politician, who also serves as leader of Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party.

Read moreGerman-US relationship hangs in the balance

09:13 The Biden campaign says it has legal teams ready to respond if President Trump follows through on his threat to go to the Supreme Court to stop the counting of votes.

"The president's statement tonight about trying to shut down the counting of duly cast ballots was outrageous, unprecedented, and incorrect," campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon said in a statement.

"If the president makes good on his threat to go to court to try to prevent the proper tabulation of votes, we have legal teams standing by ready to deploy to resist that effort."

There are still hundreds of thousands of votes to be counted in several key battleground states after an unprecedented number of people cast mail-in ballots ahead of Election Day.

Trump has repeatedly suggested that mail-in voting could lead to an increase in fraud, although he has provided no evidence to back up this claim. Earlier Wednesday, he told his supporters: "We'll be going to the US Supreme Court … we want all voting to stop."

08:44 The governor of Pennsylvania, a key battleground state which carries 20 electoral votes, decried Donald Trump's claims of election fraud.

After Trump claimed "major fraud" without providing evidence, Democratic Governor Tom Wolf condemned Trump's comments as "a partisan attack on Pennsylvania's elections, our votes and democracy."

"Our counties are working tirelessly to process votes as quickly AND as accurately as possible," Wolf wrote on Twitter. "Pennsylvania will have a fair election and we will count every vote."

While Donald Trump currently boasts a solid lead in Pennsylvania, Wolf declared there are about a million postal ballots remaining to be counted in the US state.

08:20 European stocks have dropped sharply amid uncertainty over the US election, with the outcome too close to call in a number of key states. 

At the start of trading on Wednesday, the eurozone's STOXX fell 1.6%, London's benchmark FTSE 100 lost 0.5%, while the pound slumped more than 1% against the dollar. Germany's DAX fell 1.8% and the Paris CAC 40 lost 1%. 

08:10 Joe Biden has won the state of Maine, taking at least three of a possible four electoral votes, AP reports. Maine and Nebraska are the only two states that divide their electoral votes. The others operate on a "winner takes all" basis. 

08:06 Donald Trump has also raised eyebrows by pledging to involve the US Supreme Court, claiming the election outcome was "a fraud on the American public."

"We'll be going to the US Supreme Court" Trump said, "we want all voting to stop."

It was not immediately clear what voting Trump was referring to, as polls had already closed across the US. However, officials are still counting ballots.

07:55 Joe Biden has won the crucial battleground of state of Arizona, giving him 11 electoral college votes, according to AP.

The victory in the southwestern state — traditionally a Republican stronghold — is a blow to Trump, who won there four years ago. It's only the second time in 72 years that Arizona has backed a Democratic presidential candidate. 

07:46 DW FACT CHECK: Before most major news outlets called states in favor of either candidate, the Trump campaign team's official Twitter account announced that they'd won various states, including Idaho at 5:05 a.m. CET, Ohio at 5:47 a.m., Texas at 5:56 a.m., and Iowa at 6:16 a.m.

Many media outlets had not yet called these respective states. The Associated Press, which supplies the results to DW, saw the states mentioned as open races for much longer. Texas in particular — with its 29 million inhabitants — was far from being fully counted by many outlets by 6 a.m. CET.

One clear difference was Florida. While CNN did not award the hard-fought state to incumbent Donald Trump until 6:40 a.m., his campaign announced victory there as early as 2:20 a.m.

But the media also differ — sometimes massively — in their methods. Some rely on exit polls, others on interim results. The interim results also differ due to the fact that some media have left the National Election Pool, an association of American news media, to pursue their own approach.

In contrast to Trump's campaign, Joe Biden's campaign team did not tweet results from individual states.

Rather, Biden said in a short speech: "We believe we're on track to win this election."

Only final results, which may be delayed by the counting of mail-in votes, will show which proclamations of victory were premature.

07:43 Polls have now closed across the United States, with the final polling stations shut in the far northwestern state of Alaska. Ballots are still being counted, with the results in some states only expected to be announced later on Wednesday. 

Read more:  What happens if there is no winner on election night?

07:27 Donald Trump has told his supporters that the results of the election have been "phenomenal" but fell short of declaring an outright victory, appearing to signal that he will wait for the rest of the ballots to be tallied.

"We will win this. As far as I'm concerned, we already have," he said at the White House. "The citizens of this country have come out in record numbers … to support our incredible movement."

At the same time, the president claimed he had won the key states of Georgia and North Carolina, despite the fact that vote counting is still underway there. He also touted a "good possibility" of winning the battleground state of Arizona, and said he was winning the crucial state of Pennsylvania by "a tremendous amount of votes." 

Donald and Melania Trump
Vote counting is still underway, but Donald Trump has told his supporters he has won Georgia and North CarolinaImage: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Without giving evidence, Trump also said that "a very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise" millions of people who voted for him, echoing an earlier tweet in which he claimed "they are trying to STEAL the election." 

There were concerns Trump would declare victory prematurely before mail-in votes were counted in a number of key states. A record number of Americans cast their ballots early this year, either via mail or in person, mean those tallies could take days to be confirmed in some cases. The president has repeatedly — and without evidence — suggested that mail-in voting could lead to an increase in fraud.

07:20 Donald Trump is giving a statement at the White House. 

07:17 The eyes of the world are on the US election today, as Donald Trump faces off against Joe Biden. Ahead of the vote, DW asked people from various parts of the globe for their take on President Trump and the election battle.

06:45 DW FACT CHECK: US President Donald Trump tweeted that votes cannot be cast after the polls are closed. However, those who are in line when the polls close may still cast their votes. 

"We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!" Trump tweeted. 

The American Civil Liberties Union, however, says on its page listing voters' rights: "If the polls close while you’re still in line, stay in line – you have the right to vote."

Trump's Democratic opponent, Joe Biden told voters to "stay in line, folks."

Despite Trump's claim that votes cannot be cast after polls close, the incumbent had also urged people to stay in line as closing time approached in some states.  "STAY IN LINE! Pass it on," he tweeted.

Additionally, Trump did not offer any evidence to support his claim that the other side is trying to "steal" the election.

06:30 As the election results trickle in, more than 1,000 people protesting against Donald Trump are gathering near the White House.

Hundreds of demonstrators marched through central Washington, shouting: "Whose streets? Our streets!'' and "If we don't get no justice, they don't get no peace!''

Anti-Trump protests were also taking place in Seattle, Portland, Oregon, Seattle and New York. The demonstrations have been largely peaceful, with no reports or serious unrest, although police in some cities announced they had made several arrests.

06:10 Texas has gone to Donald Trump despite previous hints of Biden's growing support, according to the AP. This outcome gives Trump another 38 electoral votes.

06:00 Several elements of the Trump presidency, including his administration's management of the coronavirus pandemic and partisan rhetoric could cause him to lose sway in the polls, Michael Bloss, A European Green Party MEP told DW.

His handling of the pandemic is "one way that shows that he's not taking science seriously," said Bloss. The Green MEP also slammed "racist comments, divisionary politics," and "the impossibility to bring people together."

Bloss told DW that he hopes Trump will lose the election in the face of global climate change and the pandemic. "I hope … for the US and for the world that we will have a different leader. We need it because we have huge challenges ahead of us: the climate crisis being the biggest one but the corona crisis is now the immediate one."

05:55 US President Donald Trump described his performance as a "BIG win" on Twitter and said a statement from him would be upcoming. In another post, he said that "they are trying to STEAL the Election" without providing details. The post was flagged by Twitter as being potentially misleading about the election.

"We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!" he said. Trump is due to make a statement later in the evening.

05:52 Joe Biden has addressed a rally in Wilmington, Delaware, telling his supporters it could take a while for all the votes to be counted. "We knew because of the unprecedented early vote … that it was going to take a while."

The Democrat thanked the crowd for their patience, and said he was confident of winning the key battleground states of Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan.

"We feel good about where we are. We really do," he said. "I'm here to tell you tonight, we believe we're on track to win this election. It ain't over until every vote, every ballot is counted."

05:38 Donald Trump has won the battleground state of Florida, scoring a crucial victory over challenger Joe Biden, AP reports. The loss of the southern state would have meant an almost certain loss for the incumbent. However, the Democratic candidate is still in the race, with his aides hoping for wins in other key states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania.

05:26 Donald Trump has also scored victories in Iowa and Montana, AP reports, with the two states giving him a total of nine electoral votes.

05:21 Donald Trump has also taken Ohio, another key battleground state which carries 18 electoral votes, according to the AP tally.

05:17 The northern US state of Minnesota has gone to Biden, according to the AP news agency. This would give Biden another 10 electoral votes.

05:10 Biden has won the US state of Hawaii, adding another four votes in the electoral college to his camp, AP reports.

04:51 Final results for Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are unlikely to be ready for several days, according to Reuters. The Secretary of State for the key battleground state of Michigan was doubtful that final unofficial results would be available before Wednesday night.

04:40 Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez held onto her New York district seat in the House of Representatives. The 31-year-old congresswoman was comfortably leading against Republican challenger John Cummings, according to incomplete results. Ocasio-Cortez is popular among the so-called progressives — liberal and mostly young voters — in the US, and a staunch supporter of the left-leaning senator Bernie Sanders.

04:10 Donald Trump has claimed Utah, securing support from another six electors, according to the AP.

04:03 Biden has also scored victories in California, Oregon, and the US state of Washington. In turn, Donald Trump has won Idaho, according to the AP tally.

03:58 Democratic candidate Joe Biden has now won New Hampshire with its four electoral votes, the AP reports.

03:37 DW FACT CHECK: Reports of robocalls in the state of Michigan have concerned citizens and onlookers on social media. The automated calls were targeted to residents of Flint, Michigan, an area with a large Black population.

Jocelyn Benson, the Michigan Secretary of State and person in charge of elections there, said: “We received reports that an unknown party is purposefully spreading misinformation via robocalls in Flint in an attempt to confuse voters there... Michigan voters can feel confident that leaders across state and local government are vigilant against these kinds of attacks on their voting rights and attempts at voter suppression, and we will be working quickly all day to stamp out any misinformation aimed at preventing people from exercising their right to vote."

Michigan’s attorney general, Dana Nessel, also warned of text messages being sent to voters in another part of the state on Monday. Nessel is known for cracking down on robocalls. 
According to Reuters, the FBI and New York attorney general's office are also opening investigations into robocalls in several battleground states that urged voters to stay home. It is unclear at this point who is responsible for these calls.  

03:34 The conservative state of Missouri has gone to President Trump, giving him 10 electoral votes, according to the AP.

03:16 The Republicans have taken back the Alabama Senate seat from Doug Jones. Tommy Tuberville's win may be enough to prevent the Democrats from clenching a majority in the Senate.

03:10 The foreign policy spokesman for the Angela Merkel's ruling conservative party CDU/CSU, Jürgen Hardt, has expressed his support for a Joe Biden presidency, from an international diplomacy perspective.

"I think Joe Biden believes in multilateral approaches to every challenge we have with the world: climate security, economic cooperation. And I think this is the way of politics we as Germans and as Europeans want to go. [W]e don't like this blaming of Germany, only to get votes in the US. This is populism, and therefore we appreciate [Biden's different] approach."

03:03 Kansas, with its six electoral votes, has gone to President Donald Trump, according to the AP tally. The agency also called South Dakota for Donald Trump, giving him three electoral votes.

03:02 Polls have just closed in Utah, Nevada, Montana and Utah. Iowa and Nevada are both considered possible swing states.

02:58 DW FACT CHECK: On election day, Donald Trump urged his supporters to vote claiming that the US economy was growing 33.1% .

CLAIM: "Under my Administration, our ECONOMY is growing at the fastest rate EVER at 33.1%. Next year will be the GREATEST ECONOMIC YEAR in American History!" he wrote on Titter.

FACT: While GDP in the US did indeed grow at an annual rate of 33.1% in the third quarter of 2020, this was after a 31.4% decline in GDP the second quarter due to economic impacts from COVID-19. These figures come from advance estimates from the Bureau of Economic Analysis on October 29. More complete data will be available November 25.

Overall, GDP grew at an annual average rate of 2.5% during the first three years of Trump's presidency, slightly higher than the 2.3% seen in the last three years of the Obama administration.

02:54 Julia Bryan, global chair of Democrats Abroad, spoke to DW about support for Republican presidential candidate from Americans living abroad, saying that "most Americans abroad do not support Donald Trump.

"We respect leadership that's helping people and not just a small mafioso class of folk who Donald Trump is trying to go for."

02:46 The US dollar clawed back early losses against risk-sensitive currencies as the US election results began streaming in.

Stocks powered higher on Wall Street as investors hoped for a clear result in the contentious election. Ambiguity in the outcome of the presidential contest creates further uncertainty for the markets, both in the US and elsewhere, as investors seek a clear winner in the race,

The end of a bruising campaign may help alleviate the increasing uncertainty of late, that's sent markets spinning.

The S&P 500 rose 58.92 points, or 1.8%, to 3,369.16 for its second straight healthy advance. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 554.98, or 2.1%, while the Nasdaq composite climbed 1.9%.

02:45 Gloria Browne-Marshall, a civil rights attorney, author, and professor of constitutional law spoke to DW about Donald Trump and racism in the US.

She said Trump had stoked the flames of racism "in a country that started off in slavery, and started off with a genocide of Native Americans and Jim Crow segregation, into what we have now with George Floyd's murder."

02:40 Joe Biden has won Colorado. The central US state carries 9 electoral votes. Additionally, Democratic candidate for the US Senate, John Hickenlooper, defeated the incumbent Republican senator Cory Gardner, flipping the seat for the Democrats — an important victory as the opposition party hopes to secure control of the chamber.

02:38 Across the US, 40% of older Latinos said they voted for Trump, according to Edison Research Poll quoted by the Reuters new agency. In 2016, only 25% of the older Latino population said the same. The bump could prove crucial for Trump in Florida, where the two candidates wrestle for the sizable Latino vote.

02:32 Biden has won the three electoral votes from Washington D.C., according to AP.

02:15 Polls have now closed in over a dozen more states, including Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin, all possible swing states.

02:07 President Trump has now won North Dakota, Nebraska, Louisiana and Wyoming, according to the AP. His rival Biden claimed New York and New Mexico.

01:57 Donald Trump has won Indiana with its 11 electoral votes, according to the tally by the AP news agency. Indiana is the home state of his vice president, Mike Pence.

01:53 The key battleground state of Florida remains too close to call, with the US broadcaster CBS putting Trump ahead at 50.5% percent of the vote and Biden trailing at 48.4%. Roughly 10% of the votes have yet to be counted. Florida carries 29 electoral votes, or more than 10% of what each of the candidates need to ensure a win. Pennsylvania, another key battleground state, carries 20 electoral votes.

01:50 Sarah McBride has become the first transgender Senator in US History, winning the State Senate Seat in Delaware. In 2016, McBride became the first openly transgender person to address a major party convention when she spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

01:32 Donald Trump has won the state of Arkansas, according to data published by the Associated Press.

01:28 Transgender Army Veteran Charlotte Clymer has told DW that Donald Trump had spent his tenure insulting military veterans.

"For Trump, ever since he launched his campaign in 2015, it has been year after year of nothing but insulting his opponents and ad hominem attacks. Insulting everyone, from military veterans who have served, to service members who have been killed in action, to ordinary Americans who are just trying to live and get by in a country that I think has forgotten about them under this government."

01:19 Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has held his seat in Kentucky and so won a seventh term. The 78-year-old key ally for Trump is the longest-serving Republican leader in Senate history.

01:02 A flurry of states have been called by AP. Biden has won Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Illinois, Delaware and Connecticut. Trump has won Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Oklahoma.

01:00 German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has told broadcaster ARD that, regardless of the outcome of the US election, he hopes the Transatlantic relationship between the two nations will be "put in order" again.

00:58 South Carolina has been called by AP for Donald Trump.

00:41 Joe Biden has secured Virginia, a state worth 13 electoral votes. The state has grown increasingly liberal over the past four years, according to AP.

00:39 Donald Trump has won West Virginia, a state that traditionally goes Republican, sealing the president five electoral votes in the race for the threshold of 270, AP has reported.

People have gathered in "Black Lives Matter Plaza" near the White House to watch early Election Day results
People have gathered in "Black Lives Matter Plaza" near the White House to watch early Election Day resultsImage: Hannah McKay/REUTERS

00:35 Most polls have closed in North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia, however, the Board of Elections voted to keep four polling places in North Carolina open, with the longest open an extra 45 minutes, after delays during the day.

00:04 Trump has won Kentucky and Joe Biden has won Vermont, according to the Associated Press.

00:00 The first big round of closing of polling stations has occurred in the states of Virginia, Georgia, Vermont, Kentucky, Vermont, South Carolina and parts of Florida.

23:20 Exit polls conducted by the Edison Research Polling Services on some of the key issues surrounding the election are beginning to emerge from some of the so-called swing states.

Not traditionally seen as a key battleground, Texas has been on the Democrats radar this time around. And Texans are evenly split over whether there should be a wall built along the Mexican border, according to the research conducted on election day. Locals are equally divided over the coronavirus, with five out of 10 residents saying containing the pandemic is vital, even if it hurts the economy. Six out of 10 Texans, meanwhile, see climate change as a 'serious problem,' according to the poll. One in 10 people who voted were first-time voters.

In Virginia, five out of 10 locals suggested they were better off than four years ago.

The Trump and Biden campaigns insist they are making a real push for Virginia's 13 electoral college votes after similar efforts were made by presidential candidates in previous elections.

In 2016, President Trump staged rally after rally in the Old Dominion, while Hillary Clinton picked a Virginian as her running mate.

Electoral workers busy opening ballots in West Palm Beach, Florida
Electoral workers busy opening ballots in West Palm Beach, FloridaImage: Joe Skipper/REUTERS

23:06 The first polls are closing in most of Indiana and Kentucky. Both states cross two time zones and so polling stations in the western parts of the states will remain open for another hour.

22:52 Singer Kanye West has shared a video of his ballot on Twitter, showing that he was voting for ... himself.

He had announced his run for the presidency earlier in the year, however, he had to write in his name on the ballot. He appeared to still have faith in his chances, saying "Keep believing Kanye 2020."

22:46 Democratic candidate Joe Biden has refused to make any predictions on the result of the elections saying he was "superstitious" about predictions, but was "hopeful" nonetheless.

He told reporters outside a Delaware community center that he had heard about an "overwhelming turnout" among young people, women and older Black adults in key battleground states like Florida.

He has also said that he wouldn't comment on results during election night, even if Trump does. "If there's something to talk about tonight, I'll talk about it, if not, I'll wait till the votes are counted the next day."

22:34 The FBI has said that it is investigating a large number of robocalls which have been telling people to "stay stafe and stay home."

The short call from a computerized female voice made no mention of the election and has been going since the summer but reports of the call during Election Day were a cause for concern for many.

"It felt like voter suppression," said Dan Doughty, a resident from Kansas City who received such a call on Tuesday morning.

Over 3 million calls were made to almost 90% of area codes in the US, according to research by the anti-robocall software companies, YouMail and TelTech.

22:30 More than 100 million US citizens have already voted, with observers anticipating a huge turnout as a result.

The US Elections Project said the number of people who had already cast their votes via mail-in ballots, early in-person voting, drive-through polls and other means represented 73% of the turnout of the 2016 presidential election.

22:10 US officials have said that the country's Cyber Command and the National Security Agency (NSA) have taken measures to inhibit foreign interference in the election, according to the Washington Post.

The measures taken over the past few weeks and months included an operation against Iran.

Hackers working for the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard had initiated a campaign several weeks ago to bring Americans' confidence in the electoral process into question, the authorities said.

21:50 Republican Governor Phil Scott from Vermont has told the gathered media that he voted for Biden, according to the Washington Post.

This was the first time he had voted for a Democratic presidential candidate, although he had previously stated his intention not to vote for Donald Trump, and didn't do so in 2016 either.

"It's been a bit of a struggle for me, but I ended up voting for Joe Biden," he said to local reporters.

19:50 Trump visited his campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia outside the US capital to thank dozens of campaign workers.

"I think we're going to have a great night, but it's politics and it's elections and you never know,'' Trump said. "Winning is easy. Losing is never easy ... not for me it's not,'' he added.

The president is expected to spend the rest of Election Day at the White House.

Biden spent the first part of Election Day in Pennsylvania, speaking to supporters in his birthplace of Scranton, before traveling to Philadelphia for a final campaign rally.

"We choose hope over fear, we choose truth over lies, we choose science over fiction," the former vice president told the crowd with a megaphone.

Biden is expected to return to his home state of Delaware for election night.

Read moreWhat to watch out for on election night 

Joe Biden speaking through a megaphone
Democrat candidate Joe Biden speaking to supporters in Philadelphia on election dayImage: Carolyn Kaster/AP/picture alliance

19:42 A US district judge has ordered the US Postal Service to carry out a sweep of processing facilities in central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Detroit, South Florida, Arizona, and several other regions to make sure no ballots have been held up and to deliver any discovered ballots immediately. Many states require mailed ballots to be received by the end of Tuesday.

18:48 President Trump told the Fox & Friends news program that he would declare victory "when" and "if" he wins the election. 

"I think we will have victory. But only when there is victory. You know, there is no reason to play games," said Trump in response to a question over suggestions in the US media that he intends to declare victory if early returns show him leading in key states. 

Biden's campaign manager, Jen O'Malley Dillon, said Monday that "under no scenario" will Trump be declared the victor on election night, adding that there is no historical precedent for the vote to be completely tallied on election night. 

"When Donald Trump says that ballots counted after midnight should be invalidated, he’s just making that up," she told a preelection briefing with reporters. 

18:30 More than 100 million voters have already cast ballots in early voting, according to the US Elections Project, a non-partisan website. The number portends a major turnout. For comparison, the early votes cast in 2020 represent more than 70% of the total 2016 turnout.

What time do polls open and close?

Voting kicked off in two small towns in the northeastern state of New Hampshire, where polling stations stuck to their traditional midnight opening (0500 GMT/UTC).

Elsewhere, most polling stations in eastern states opened at 6 a.m. or 7 a.m. local time (1100 or 1200 GMT/UTC). 

Most polls are to close around 7 or 8 p.m. local time. The final polls will close in the far western state of Alaska — by which time it will already be morning on the east coast.

Voters waiting in Wisconsin,
Voters waiting in Wisconsin, which has been polled as a toss up for either candidateImage: Joel Lerner/Xinhua News Agency/picture-alliance

How can I watch US election coverage?

There are several ways to keep up with DW's live election coverage.

On TV – Watch the DW News channel on your TV

Online – Go to the DW online livestream

YouTube – See the DW livestream on YouTube

When can we expect results?

Results usually trickle in overnight, after polls have closed, with the candidates delivering their victory or concession speech in the early hours of the morning. But things may be a little different this year due to the record number of Americans voting by mail due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mail-in ballots typically take longer to tally than votes cast in person, which means that if the race is tight in some key swing states, it could take days, or weeks, before a winner is confirmed. 

Individual states begin counting these mail-in ballots at different times. Some, such as Florida, began the count ahead of November 3, while others can only start processing these ballots on election day.

Read moreUS election: Which political party benefits from mail-in voting?

How does the voting system work?

The race for the US presidency isn't decided by popular vote. Rather, the winner is determined by the Electoral College, a body of 538 appointed electors, or delegates, from each state who in turn vote for the president, according to the popular vote result in individual states. The number of Electoral College votes assigned to each state depends on its population size. In order to be elected president, a candidate needs to win a majority, or 270 electors.

It's a winner-takes-all system, which means one candidate takes the full number of a state's electoral votes. It also means the outcome in key swing states will likely decide the election. 

Read moreUS election: German-US relationship hangs in the balance

What are the key states to watch?

While most of the 50 states are expected to stay Republican red or Democratic blue after election day, several key states could go to either candidate. It's these swing states that will ultimately decide who wins the White House.

Both Florida (29 electoral votes) and Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes) are split down the middle, and they'll prove crucial because of the weight they carry in the Electoral College. Other key battleground states to watch include Wisconsin (10), Michigan (16), North Carolina (15) and Arizona (11). Trump won them all in the last election in 2016, but polls put Biden ahead in all six. 

The race is also expected to be tight in Georgia (16), Iowa (6), Ohio (18) and Nevada (6).    

Read more:  US presidential election: The top 5 issues

wmr,nm,ab,jsi/rc,aw (Reuters, dpa, AP, AFP)