Clinton, Trump cast ballots in U.S. presidential election


Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump joined voters across the U.S. on Tuesday in casting ballots for president in an election that brings a long and bitter campaign to a close.

Mrs. Clinton started her day by casting her vote in Chappaqua, New York, where she and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, have lived since he left office in 2001.

“I know the responsibility that goes with this,” she said, as she greeted people at the polling station.

“So many people are counting on the outcome of this election and what it means for our country, and I’ll do the best I can if I’m fortunate enough to win today.”

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has also cast his ballot in New York

The candidate arrived with his wife Melania, who also cast a ballot.

“Everything’s very good,” he said when asked what he had heard about early returns.

People shouted “loser” and booed the candidate from behind a barrier set up by police on the street.

Some also shouted, “Go, Donald” and gave him a thumbs up.

At a polling station in Williamsburg, a neighbourhood in New York City’s Brooklyn borough, Jasmin Stein said she felt somewhat tired of the divisive campaign.

However, she said she was glad that the election cast a spotlight on underlying anxieties among Americans.

“A lot of things have been coming to the light that I think the country feels and I kind of would rather have it out in the open than it just be in peoples’ homes,” Ms. Stein, 29 said.

Another voter, Matt Sutton, who works in public relations, said he didn’t want to take any chances to let Trump get elected.

“It’s amazing that I voted for the first woman president.

“I didn’t know if I would even see that in my lifetime,” 29-year-old Mr. Sutton said.

He said he was planning to go to Times Square in the evening to await the results.

Jessica Quinn, 37, who brought her 8-month-old daughter, Emma, to the polls, said she got so anxious about the elections.

She said that she volunteered to work for the Clinton campaign on Monday, making about 30 phone calls.

“I needed to do something productive with all of my anxiety about what was happening with the election,” Ms. Quinn said.

Both campaigns kept up the pressure until the end.

Mrs. Clinton’s campaign ticked down the minutes until the start of the polls with calls to vote and to “build bridges, not walls,” a dig at Trump’s promise to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants.

Trump highlighted his final round of campaign stops, saying on Twitter: “Today we are going to win the great state of MICHIGAN and we are going to WIN back the White House!”

Clinton is favoured to win based on nearly all surveys of likely voters.

However, the race marked by ugly rhetoric and personal attacks has been surprisingly close, especially since many Americans considered Trump’s campaign little more than a novelty when it began in 2015.

Since then, he has built a strong campaign around people who feel they have been left behind by the political system.

Voters are also electing members of the lower chamber House of Representatives and one-third of the U.S. Senate.

Voting continues until polling stations close in Hawaii, the state furthest to the west.

Polls will begin closing at 6 p.m. in the Eastern Time zone, and early results are expected shortly after that.

The winner will become the 45th U.S. president on inauguration day, January 20, and will succeed Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American president.

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