Press TV- Americans vote to choose between two starkly different candidates, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, in one of the most divisive presidential races in US history.
About 140 million Americans out of an eligible population of 220 million were expected to vote across the 50 states by the end of Election Day on Tuesday.
As polls close, early results are being released, predicting who has garnered the most votes in different states.
Candidates are racing to hit the magic number of 270 electoral votes, an absolute majority of the 538 members of the electoral college.
The latest results and projections amount to 244 electoral votes for Trump and 215 for Clinton.
Trump has taken: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Clinton has taken: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Washington DC, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia and Vermont.
Trump’s victories in crucial battleground states of Florida, Ohio and North Carolina have significantly narrowed Clinton’s path to victory.
The Republican candidate also hopes to carry two Democratic-leaning states of Michigan and Wisconsin, which seemed beyond his reach just a week ago.
The contest could hinge on the key states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
If Trump wins Wisconsin and takes its 10 electoral votes, he could be projected to win the presidency. He currently leads Clinton by 4 points in that state.
In Michigan, where Clinton has had several campaign stops in recent days, Trump also has the lead. The state has 16 electoral college votes.
The battleground of Pennsylvania is still too close to call. The state has 20 electoral votes, and Trump is narrowly ahead there as well.
In the popular vote, Trump is leading Clinton with nearly 49 percent compared to 47 percent for Clinton.
A final result is expected after midnight (05:00 GMT).
Meanwhile, election results for the House of Representatives and the Senate both appear to be moving in favor of the Republicans.
Fatal shooting in California amid vote
As voters were casting their ballots across the country, an active shooting in the US state of California claimed the life of a person, injured four other people and forced closure of two nearby polling stations.
The incident occurred on Tuesday evening in the city of Azusa, 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Los Angeles.
Two polling stations in the area were placed on lockdown along with nearby schools, according to local officials.
The suspect, armed with a rifle, reportedly was shooting at police but it is unclear whether any officers were injured.
WikiLeaks speaks on Election Day
The founder of anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks opened up Tuesday about why it has been releasing documents against the campaign of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Julian Assange (pictured below) released a statement on the WikiLeaks website on US Election Day, complaining about the “pressure” he is under by Democrats.
He also rejected allegations that the transparency group has favored Trump, saying, “We cannot publish what we do not have. To date, we have not received information on Donald Trump’s campaign.”
WikiLeaks releases of hacked emails from the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in the past few months have put the campaign in danger of losing to Trump.
Who did Bush vote for?
As reports appeared that former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, voted for Clinton, a spokesman said the two voted two weeks ago and not for Clinton or Trump.
Bush (pictured below) and his father, fellow former President George H.W. Bush, have been among staunch opponents of the property mogul since the beginning of his campaign.
In the run-up to the 2016 vote, rumors were around that Bush would support the Democratic nominee instead of his own party’s.
The spokesman declined Tuesday to say if Bush had voted for a third party candidate or even wrote a name on his ballot.
GOP senator backs 3rd party
South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham made news Tuesday by not supporting his party’s flag-bearer, Trump.
In a tweet, Graham said he cast a ballot for former CIA operations officer and independent candidate, Evan McMullin (pictured below).
“I voted @Evan_McMullin for President. I appreciate his views on a strong America and the need to rebuild our military,” he said on Twitter.
In an earlier tweet, he clearly rejected voting for the Democratic nominee, saying, “In the prez race, voting for Hillary Clinton was always a non-starter and I couldn’t go where Donald Trump wanted to take the USA & GOP.”
Trump’s lawsuit rejected
On Tuesday, Trump, who has been calling the US election “rigged,” filed a lawsuit in the battleground state of Nevada, but his request was rejected by a judge.
Trump’s lawsuit concerned votes cast at a Las Vegas polling place last Friday.
The case could give Trump a higher hand in the Battle Born State especially if Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s final victory depended on the state’s six electoral votes.
Earlier, he dismissed polls which are showing a tight race on Election Day with Clinton.
“I do think a lot of the polls are purposely wrong,” he told Fox News. The billionaire businessman predicted victories in the key battleground states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
Trump casts vote
Trump cast his ballot in the basketball court of Public School 59 Beekman Hill International in New York.
After casting his vote, Trump jokingly said that making a choice was a “tough decision.”
“We’ll see what happens,” Trump said when asked whether he would accept the result if the election were called for Clinton.
“It’s looking very good. Right now it’s looking very good. It will be an interesting day. Thank you,” Trump added at the crowded polling station.
Clinton casts vote
Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, voted in Chappaqua, New York. She was greeted by dozens of supporters.
“I know how much responsibility goes with this and so many people are counting on the outcome of this election, what it means for our country and will do the very best if I am fortunate enough to win today,” Clinton told a CNN reporter.
Wall Street stocks dipped in opening trading Tuesday as Americans began casting their ballots. About 12 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 18,237.96, down 0.1 percent.
Donald Trump Jr. claimed his father would accept result of the election as long as results were “fair and legit.”
Asked if Trump planned to concede if Clinton was the “clear-cut winner,” the candidate’s son responded: “Of course.”
“All we’ve wanted is a fair fight. We just want a fair system.”
Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont and Virginia were the first states to officially open the polling booths at 6:00 am (1100 GMT) on Tuesday.