Millions of Americans today voted to elect either the country’s first woman president or a political outsider in the White House as the race between Hillary Clinton and her rival Donald Trump remains too close to call after the ugliest campaign.
Fighting for every single vote at stake, Democratic nominee Clinton and her Republican rival Trump made their last-minute forceful arguments before the American people with their own vision for the world’s largest economy.
Clinton, 69, was joined by husband Bill when she voted at an elementary school near their home in Chappaqua in New York state this morning.
“I’m so happy, I’m just incredibly happy,” said Clinton as she emerged from the polling station, shaking hands, chatting with her supporters amid chants of “Madam President”.
Last night she addressed a massive rally in Raleigh in the key battle ground state of North Carolina, which was entertained by Lady Gaga.
Trump, 70, made a last minute scheduled stop in Michigan to address thousands of his supporters hoping that he might be able to swing this state from the Democrats.
Their rallies ended around 1 AM (local time), just five hours before opening of the polling booths in the East Coast.
The first ballots were cast in a sleepy hamlet in New Hampshire, traditionally the first in the nation to vote on Election Day, with Clinton winning the contest.
Clinton registered her first ‘win’ in the 2016 elections by four votes to two against Trump soon after midnight in the remote Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.
While Clinton is close to victory mark, Trump must win most of the battleground states to clinch the magic figure of 270 Electoral College votes.
Arizona (11), Florida (29), Nevada (6), Nebraska 2nd Congressional District (1), New Hampshire (4) and North Carolina (15) are key battleground states.
An estimated 200 million people are eligible to cast their votes to elect the country’s 45th president along with hundreds of Congressmen and members of state legislatures and local civic bodies.
A record 42 million have already voted using the “early voting” provision of the American electoral system, surpassing the 2012 record when 32.3 million people had voted in advance.
More than half a dozen Indian-Americans are also seeking to enter the Congress including Kamala Harris from California.
Those in the race for the US House of Representatives are incumbent Ami Bera and Ro Khanna (California), Pramila Jayapal (Washington State), Raja Krishnamoorthi (Illinois), Peter Jacob (New Jersey) and Alok Kumar (Michigan).
Long queues were witnessed in the Indian-American dominated neighborhoods of Loudon and Fairfax counties in Virginia since early in the morning.
The home state of Democratic vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine, Virginia is seen as a key swing state, even as the Republicans are trailing by four-six points in recent polls. .