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Early voting by mail or in person passes 30 million mark

More than 30 million Americans have already cast their votes ahead of November’s presidential election.

According to the US Elections Project at the University of Florida, at least 30 million votes either by mail or in person had been recorded in 44 states and Washington DC as of Tuesday (Australian time).

Voters cast more than 21 per cent of the overall total in 2016, when more than 136.6 million Americans voted.

In 2016, there were only 5.9 million early votes by October 23, 16 days before election day.

Elsewhere, Floridians were lining up on the first day of their early polling in the US battleground state.

Social media posts showed lines of voters in some of the 52 of Florida’s 67 counties that began in-person early voting on Monday local time, suggesting similarly high levels of enthusiasm as seen in other early voting states this year.

Hundreds of people, most wearing face masks, stood in pouring rain in the morning outside the public library in Coral Gables, a majority-Hispanic city near Miami.

Florida is widely seen as a must-win for US President Donald Trump, whose path to victory becomes razor-thin if he loses the Southern state.

Mr Trump, running out of time to change the dynamics of a race he appears to be losing, campaigned in Arizona on Monday amid signs Democrats were leading the surge in early voting.

In a conference call with campaign staff, he showed characteristic self-confidence in describing the state of the race, notwithstanding national opinion polls show him well behind Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

“We’re going to win,” he said.

“I wouldn’t have told you that maybe two, three weeks ago.”

Trump closes in on Biden’s lead

Mr Trump has appeared to cut into Mr Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania, one of the election’s most important battlegrounds.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday found Mr Biden leading 49 per cent to 45 per cent in that state, a margin three points narrower than last week.

It also found Mr Biden leading in Wisconsin 51 per cent to 43 per cent.

Across theā€¦

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