BY MOSES MATENGA
THE United States goes into elections today with incumbent Donald Trump facing Joe Biden in what appears to be a tightly contested race.
Results, according to analysts, are likely to take long due to effects of COVID-19 that will see a number of mail votes, long queues and a number of absentee ballot requests.
Trump and Biden took to micro-blogging site Twitter on Tuesday for their final calls for votes.
“It’s Election Day. Go vote, America,” Biden wrote.
“Let’s bring this home. I’m running as a proud Democrat, but I will govern as an American President. I will work with Democrats and Republicans, and I’ll work as hard for those who don’t support me as for those who do. Because that’s the job of a President,” he added.
Biden said under Trump, over 230,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 with 30 million people having lost hours, pay checks, or jobs.
Trump also took to twitter to rally Americans to vote for him saying: “Vote! Vote! Vote!”
“To all of our supporters: thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have been there from the beginning, and I will never let you down. Your hopes are my hopes, your dreams are my dreams, and your future is what I am fighting for every single day,” Trump wrote.
In a presentation to journalists covering the US elections virtually under the Foreign Press Centres: Elections 2020 Virtual Reporting Tour, Dr Meena Bose, executive Dean, public policy and public service programs at the Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency, said results of the elections may be affected by absentee versus in-person voting, safety measures for voting and more time for results.
According to the timeline of the electoral process, he gave in his presentation; November 3 is the Election Day with the process expected to end January 6 with the Electoral College votes being announced in Congress by Senate President.
January 20, 2021 is set as the Inauguration Day where the winner and his running mate are sworn in as President and Vice President respectively in Washington.
States must complete vote counting and select electors by December 8, before the December 14 meeting for electors to cast ballots in state capitals.
Both rivals spent the final hours of the race rallying in key swing states.
National polls give a firm lead to Biden, but it is a closer race in the States that could decide the outcome.