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Biden casts ballot as early voters turn out in force

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US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his wife Jill have cast early ballots in their home state of Delaware, joining 74 million others who have already voted as analysts cast doubt on whether a result will be known until days after the November 3 election.

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“Well, we just voted,” Biden said as he and his wife emerged from the polling site holding hands on Wednesday.

Election day in the United States falls on November 3 this year but for weeks people have been rushing to take advantage of mail-in and early voting opportunities.

The number of people around the country who have voted so far is over half of the total number who voted in the 2016 presidential election, according to the US Elections Project, a turnout-tracking database created by a professor from the University of Florida who specialises in US elections.

The record-shattering number of people choosing to vote by mail, or to vote at an early voting station in hopes of avoiding crowds, is mainly spurred by a surge in the number of coronavirus cases.

But data suggests it has also been powered by heightened enthusiasm among Democrats who are keen to deliver an overwhelming defeat to President Donald Trump.

Yet analysts say it’s increasingly likely that the election winner will not be apparent until days after the election.

For instance, in the key swing state of Pennsylvania, a court ruled that election officials should continue to count mail-in ballots that arrive up to three days after the election.

Similarly, in North Carolina, the state’s board of elections said that ballots that were mailed by election day can be counted up until November 12.

President Donald Trump is holding two campaign rallies in the battleground state of Arizona where polls show him narrowly trailing Democratic rival Joe Biden, as the White House race heads into its final six-day stretch.

The rallies in Bullhead City and Goodyear were due to be held at 5.30am and 8am Adelaide time.

Biden overnight attended a virtual briefing from public health experts and delivered a speech near his home in Delaware on his plans to combat COVID-19 and protect Americans with pre-existing health conditions.

Biden still leads Trump comfortably in national opinion polls in a race dominated by the pandemic, which has caused more than 225,000 US deaths, cost millions more their jobs and spurred a rush to vote early by many Americans looking to avoid health risks from exposure.

The race is tighter in several battleground states where the election might be decided.

Trump cast his ballot on Saturday in Palm Beach, near his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

 – AAP

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