Millions of Americans have been heading to polling stations to choose the 45th US president after a long and bitter contest between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump.
Polling locations on Tuesday will continue to open across the US all the way to Hawaii, the state farthest to the west. About 40 million out of the more than 200 million registered voters have already cast their ballots in early voting, which is offered in 34 out of the 50 states.
In a kick-off midnight vote, the residents of tiny Dixville Notch in New Hampshire cast their traditional first-in-nation ballots with a total of eight votes – Clinton getting four and Trump, two.
The winner will be inaugurated on January 20 and will succeed Democrat Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American president, who has been at the helm since 2008. A candidate needs 270 Electoral College votes to become a president.
No full results or exit polls will be available before polling stations begin to close on the US East Coast from 7:00pm local time (00:00 GMT on Wednesday), and it may be three or more hours after that before the direction of the race becomes clear.
In Virginia horse country, balmy south Florida, and busy Manhattan long lines snaked into the streets outside voting stations.
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