As decision day dawns in America and voters rush to the polls to pick their 45th president, it’s important to remember that while everyone’s vote counts, some count more than others.
By the end of this long day, more than 100 million individual voting choices will be in the bank of the only votes that count in picking the president. These are the 538 votes in the Electoral College. The first candidate to get 270 votes wins the White House.
But it’s a fierce fight to get to that number. There are many potential battleground states including the “red” or Republican state of Georgia or the “blue” or Democratic state of Michigan.
And there are five swing states like North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire and Nevada, where throughout the history of American elections, there have been unexpected results because they are so unpredictable. The states could “swing” Republican or Democratic.
So far, election pundits have estimated that Clinton should at least be able to get 210 electoral votes while Trump will easily get 163. This leaves 165 votes and it’s anybody guess as to who will get them finally.
Millions of voters are waiting in long lines for hours to cast their votes in a heavy turnout. So far, it’s been an uneventful and peaceful day with few glitches being reported. Voting began at 6 am and will close at 7:30 pm all around the country.
Beyond the red states and blue states, voters are counted in all kind of ways: in person votes and mail and absentee ballots (Those US citizens who are abroad, perhaps serving in the armed forces).
Voting is also underway for the Senate and state races and the local media is reporting on those candidates but the national media is overwhelmingly consumed by the presidential race.
The biggest story of the day so far is the Latinos turnout. They are coming in numbers never seen before and experts say that it is the “Trump effect.” They are sending a strong message in rallying for Clinton and showing their disapproval at Trump’s hateful rhetoric.
Many Latinos in this election are newly minted United States citizens and first time voters.
|Judgement day as the presidential elections on November 8, 2016 conclude an 18-month-long bitter and volatile campaign between rivals Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. [Photo: Agencies]|
Clinton is hoping that Latinos in Arizona, a traditionally ruby red Republican state will come out for her and turn that state blue for her.
There has only been one instance when Arizona has voted for a Democratic candidate and it was to send Bill Clinton to the White House.
This election has been extremely unusual and unexpected surprises are being expected today.
The other groups who are leaning towards Clinton include African Americans, Muslims and Asians. While white and union workers are likely to vote for Trump.
Both Clinton and Trump have already voted with their families.
The votes will not be counted until the polls close this evening. By 8 pm, enough states will have voted to make up at least half of the total 538 votes.
Meanwhile, as the country speculates on the outcome, everyone is prepared for the drama which will play out, no matter who wins.
Watch: Race for White House: Will America get its first woman president?