With early voter turnout setting a record and U.S. business districts boarding up for fear of Election Day unrest, President Donald Trump and his rival Joe Biden stumped on the campaign’s last day on Monday in states expected to decide who wins.
Trailing Biden, a Democrat, in national opinion polls, Trump seeks to avoid becoming the first incumbent president to lose re-election since fellow Republican George H.W. Bush in 1992.
The race in swing states is seen as close enough that Trump could still piece together the 270 votes needed to prevail in the state-by-state Electoral College that determines the winner.
Trump, 74, will hold five 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.
Biden, 77, will focus on Pennsylvania and Ohio.
In a year upended by the coronavirus pandemic, early voting has surged to levels never before seen in U.S. elections. A record-setting 95 million early votes have been cast either in-person or by mail, according to the U.S. Elections Project.
Just a day before Election Day, the record-breaking number is equal to 69% of the entire voter turnout for the 2016 election and represents about 40% of all Americans who are legally eligible to vote.
That unprecedented level of early voting includes 60 million mail-in ballots that could take days or weeks to be counted in some states, meaning a winner might not be declared in the hours after polls close on Tuesday night.
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.
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.
The famed shopping destination of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills will be closed down on Tuesday, the police said.
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