Anxious American set for D-Day: Clinton or Trump - Who will be the next U.S. president?

WASHINGTON, U.S. - After a long and fiercely fought campaign, U.S. Election Day on Tuesday will see millions of Americans heading to the polls to vote for their next president. Depending on ...


• Concerns of a cyberattack disrupting voting

• Google to show continuously updated election results

• Both presidential candidates will be in New York when results come in

WASHINGTON, U.S. - After a long and fiercely fought campaign, U.S. Election Day on Tuesday will see millions of Americans heading to the polls to vote for their next president.

Depending on the state, polling booths will open between 6 am and 7 am local time and close between 7 pm and 8 pm. (If you're in line when polls close, you still get to vote.) 

In Iowa and North Dakota polls are open till 9 pm.

Once the polls have closed, there will be a projection for each state based on opinion polls taken throughout the day. 

They are a good indication of the results but not always correct.

The key results to watch out for at this time are from swing states, such as Florida, New Hampshire and Virginia. 

Two battleground states - North Carolina and Ohio - are Trump's best chance at victory, requiring a win from either Ohio or Florida, if not both.

In other words, this is when we might get an indication of how well Trump is faring.

The close of the polls on the U.S. west coast will be the first opportunity for the election to be "called". 

U.S. television networks and cable channels nowadays generally agree to wait until this time to declare a winner so as not to affect voting turnout in those states.

The magic number is 270 - that's the number needed for a majority in the electoral college, where each state (plus Washington DC) is awarded a certain number of electoral college votes based roughly on size and population. The first candidate to reach 270 is the winner.

It’s possible for a candidate to win the national popular vote but lose the Electoral College, which is what happened in the 2000 presidential election.

Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are two independent candidates who will appear on some or all ballots. 

Evan McMullin is another independent candidate who could perform well in his home state of Utah.

Where will the proper first results be announced?

Dixville Notch, New Hampshire is the Sunderland of America. The village, just 20 miles from the Canadian border, is known for being one of the first places to declare its results - often up to 24 hours before the rest of the country.

When is the final result announced?

The TV networks usually call a result at around 11 pm East Coast time. 

Once there is a clear winner, the losing candidate will call the other to concede. 

Then, both Clinton and Trump will give either a concession or a victory speech. In the rare instance of a tie, which has only happened twice, the House of Representatives elect the President and the Senate will elect the Vice President.

Swing and safe states

Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, New York, California, Delaware, New Jersey, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon are believed to be Clinton's safe states.

The swing states are Minnesota, New Hampshire, Nevada, Utah, Wisconsin, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Michigan, Maine and Iowa,

Trump's safe states are Oklahoma, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Arkansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Alabama, Idaho, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, South Carolina, Indiana, Louisiana, North Dakota and Wyoming.

Where will Clinton and Trump be?

Clinton and Trump haven't confirmed when or where they will cast their ballot, but they are both expected to do so somewhere in New York, which is the home state for both.

The last time two presidential candidates were from New York was 1944, when Franklin D. Roosevelt won his fourth term, prevailing over New York Gov. Thomas Dewey, but celebrations were subdued because of World War II.

Clinton's 'Hillary for America Election Night Event' will start at 6 pm local time at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Centre in New York.

The 'Donald J Trump Victory Party' will start at 6.30 pm local time at the New York Hilton Midtown.

Security concerns

Election Day comes in the midst of a heightened terrorism alert.

A bomb that exploded in a Chelsea neighbourhood in mid-September injured 29 people. 

Federal officials have said they have received intelligence warnings of a terrorist threat from the al Qaida. Islamic State has also called on its supporters to attack election targets.

Other things to watch

Americans are also voting for 34 of the U.S. Senate's 100 seats and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives. 

Democrats need four seats to regain control of the Senate and 30 seats to regain control of the House.

Twelve governorships are also up for grabs.

Tracking updated election results online

To keep track of the latest development on Election Day, as soon as polls close on Tuesday, Google will display continuously updated election results directly through its search engine, the company said. 

All you have to do is search for "election results" and web searchers will help you view detailed information on the Presidential, Senatorial, Congressional, Gubernatorial races as well as state-level referenda and ballot propositions, the company further added.

Google said it would deliver the updates every 30 seconds in more than 30 different languages. 

The data will be presented in an easy-to-read format, with Democrats in blue, Republicans in red, and simple graphs, alongside the key numbers.

Facebook and Twitter too have joined the Election Day bandwagon. 

Not only does Facebook's ‘Get Ready for Election Day’ page help people register to vote and keep them updated with U.S. election news, it also provides a vote planner made specifically for each user, meaning that person can print it off and take it to the polling station when they vote.

On Twitter, you can see all the latest tweets on the election results. The official #hashtags are #ElectionDay and #Election2016; both have their own polling emoji.

Possible cyberattack?

With anxiety levels already at unprecedented levels over the outcomes of the U.S. elections, here's one more thing to worry about.

Voter registration systems in at least two states have been intruded on, according to public reports. 

However, seeking to assuage concerns, experts believe the nation's election system are adequately defended against virtually any cyber attack. The highly decentralised nature of U.S. elections is the first line of defense against widespread voter fraud. 

Moreover, the voting machines used on Election Day are not connected to the Internet. 

In addition, voter registration systems can potentially be disrupted by cyber attacks, but citizens can still vote through backup procedures.

"The vote system in the United States ... is very, very hard for someone to hack into because it's so clunky and dispersed," FBI Director James Comey recently told a House of Representatives panel.

According to a Department of Homeland Security report obtained by FoxNews.com, the public dissemination of unofficial voting results potentially could, however, be manipulated by hackers. 

While the final election outcome would not change, this could hurt faith in the election process or its results.

Practically though, the biggest cyber attacks are vote disruptions not vote stealing. 

U.S. history shows that it is possible, but hard, to steal an election. 

January 20, 2017

The president-elect won't actually become the 45th president of the United States until January 20, 1017, which is Inauguration Day. 

This is explicitly laid out in the U.S. constitution. 

 

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