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Live Reporting

Edited by Boer Deng

All times stated are UK

  1. More than 84m people have already voted

    People at voting booths prepare to cast paper ballots at a polling location in Lanham, Maryland, USA, 30 October 2020.

    More than 84.5 million Americans have already cast their votes for the election, according to data from the United States Elections Project.

    According to the group, more than 25m of those votes were cast in the three most populous US states - California, Texas and Florida.

    More Democrats have voted so far than Republicans, it says.

    In Texas, more than 9m people have voted so far, surpassing the total number of votes there in the 2016 election, according to the Associated Press.

    Early voting can be by done by post or in-person at a polling station.

    Some experts are predicting this election will see the highest turnout since 1908.

  2. Candidate rush in to Midwest and Southwest

    Biden
    Image caption: Biden before departing for Iowa

    Let's check in with where our 2020 hopefuls are around the US.

    Biden is currently in Des Moines, Iowa. It's his first visit back to the state since the Democratic primary season when his campaign had suffered losses early on.

    His running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, is doing the rounds in Texas. She'll visit Fort Worth, Houston and McAllen during her tour in the Lone Star state.

    Trump is doing his own tour of the Midwest today, with stops in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. All three states are seen as important battlegrounds to win. Biden's also due to make stops in Wisconsin and Minnesota today and Michigan on Saturday, with former President Obama.

    Vice-President Mike Pence is back again in Arizona, a once firmly Republican state that's since shifted left. He'll host rallies in Tucson and Flagstaff.

  3. It's a love story, baby just say yes (to voting)

    Taylor Swift accepts the award for Best Direction for "The Man" during the 2020 MTV VMAs
    Image caption: Taylor Swift has thrown her support behind Joe Biden

    Taylor Swift - a pop star who was, until recently, known for her reluctance to talk politics - has given permission for one of her songs to be used in a campaign advert for the first time.

    "Only the Young" will be the soundtrack for an ad urging young people to vote.

    Swift has endorsed the Biden/Harris ticket this election. Much has been made of her emergence as a political voice. In 2018, she backed a Democrat for senate in Tennessee - the first time she gave an endorsement - and the move was credited with spurring a spike in young voter registration.

    The starlet certainly commands a formidable audience, with 140m Instagram followers and 200m records sold.

    But do celebrity endorsements really matter?

    We explore the question here.

    Celebrity endorsements
  4. Two men, two stolen ballots

    Two Florida men stand accused of stealing mail - and two mail-in ballots - from a post dropbox.

    Junior Cabral, 28, and Vladimir Cuevas, 20, have been charged with property and ballot theft and fraud.

    A police officer noticed the pair near a mailbox in Lighthouse Point, north of Fort Lauderdale, on Tuesday, local media say. He then saw a bag of mail inside their car - and the two ballots, separated from the other items.

    Police say they are working to return the ballots to the voters.

    A lawyer for Cuevas says he was charged incorrectly by "overzealous" officers, the Sun-Sentinel paper reported.

    Florida is one of several key battleground states that could decide who wins the 2020 election.

  5. The presidential aides who wear two hats

    Tara McKelvey

    BBC News, Washington

    Advisor for policy Stephen Miller, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows
    Image caption: Stephen Miller, Kayleigh McEnany and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows

    Stephen Miller, a White House aide, has spoken to NBC News about how a second term President Trump would sharpen his immigration policies. Miller said he was he was discussing the policies as a campaign adviser and not as a White House aide.

    When White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany spoke recently on Fox News, she was described as a campaign adviser. Some experts say these aides 每 and the president himself - are violating the Hatch Act, a law that bans federal employees from participating in political activities while they are working in an official capacity.

    White House critics say the president violated the act by giving his acceptance speech to the Republican National Convention at the White House. McEnany says she was acting in a ※personal capacity§ when she talked about the campaign on television and is violating no rules at all.

    One thing is clear, though: she and the other aides have re-defined their roles during the president*s term - further proof that his time in office has been unprecedented.

  6. Coronavirus leads Biden's pitch to Fox News fans

    Presidential candidate Joe Biden

    So far on Friday we've covered Mike Pompeo's op-ed in Fox News and Joe Biden's piece published with South Korean news agency Yonhap.

    Now the Democrat has also written for Fox News to persuade their largely conservative audience to vote for him. His pitch is that he would do better to respond to coronavirus.

    He describes "230,000 empty chairs at dining room tables, where just weeks or months ago loved ones sat and talked and laughed".

    He also talked about the huge economic impact of the crisis.

    "On Day One, I*ll mount an aggressive approach to control this virus and get us back to our lives," he writes.

    He repeats the bigger theme of his campaign: that "America*s character" is on the ballot.

    "If you believe America is better than what we*ve seen these last four years, I hope that you*ll cast your vote for me," he says.

  7. WATCH: Could postal voting upend the election?

    Millions of Americans are voting by mail for the first time this year.

    But different rules, deadlines and legal challenges will add to the uncertainty in the race for the White House.

    Watch our video explainer to find out more about how voting by mail could affect the election.

    Video content

    Video caption: US election 2020: Could postal voting upend the US election?
  8. Your Questions Answered: Do both parties use gerrymandering?

    Anthony Zurcher

    BBC North America reporter

    your questions answered

    We*ve been asking our readers for their most pressing questions about the US election. Now it*s our turn to respond.

    Menno, 40, from the Netherlands asks: I never understood why gerrymandering is something that only Republicans seem to do. Do Democrats not try to cheat in districts with a Republican majority?

    Gerrymandering 每 or drawing legislative districts to maximise a party's chances to win elections 每 has a long tradition in US politics. It is by no means a strategy solely used by the Republican Party.

    But in recent years, conservatives have proven more adept at using data and modeling to turn the gerrymandering process into a carefully calibrated science.

    It has allowed the Republicans to win a majority of seats in places like Wisconsin without winning a majority of the state-wide vote.

    Republicans also did a better job of winning state-level elections back in 2010, giving them the ability to draw more than half of the congressional maps in the last round of decennial congressional redistricting, while Democrats had sole control of only 10%.

    That*s why the outcome in state contests in this year*s election, even if they don*t receive the same attention as the presidential race, will have considerable influence over the shape of US politics for years to come.

    There has been a recent drive, led primarily by Democrats, to take the crafting of legislative districts out of the hands of politicians and assign them to bipartisan commissions.

    California and Iowa are among the states that have done so, and others 每 such as Virginia 每 appear poised to follow suit.

    Click here if you want to know more about this project or send in a question of your own.

    Video content

    Video caption: Think the US election's fixed? Blame him
  9. The Countdown: Lil Wayne, Paul Rudd and fighting for the last votes

    Our latest briefing on the election has just come in.

    It tells the latest news in four sentences - one of those today is about popular Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

    She's been criticised for wearing expensive clothes in a Vanity Fair magazine photo shoot. Her response to a Republican rebuker: "Drink water and don't be racist".

    In other news, Lil Wayne, an influential rapper, met with Donald Trump about his Platinum Plan for black communities. He said the president "listened", but the episode has sparked a backlash.

    And, something we mentioned earlier - Biden has penned an op-ed for a South Korean news agency. Our Seoul correspondent Laura Bicker - who also covered the 2016 presidential election - explains what's behind this unusual bit of campaigning.

    Read The Countdown to find out what she says.

    Lil Wayne
    Image caption: Lil Wayne met with President Trump to discuss black communities
  10. New York Post Twitter account silent amid Biden article row

    The New York Post is a tabloid newspaper
    Image caption: The New York Post is a popular tabloid newspaper

    The New York Post Twitter account - with nearly 350,000 followers - has been mum for days ahead of election day.

    The silence comes after the newspaper published a controversial article about Hunter Biden, the Democratic presidential candidate's son.

    It cited a 2015 email in which an adviser from a Ukrainian energy company apparently thanked Hunter for inviting him to meet his father, then vice-president, in Washington. It did not provide evidence that the meeting ever took place, and the Biden election campaign says it did not.

    New York Post said Twitter locked their account after the article was posted on 14 October. Twitter said it took action because the story stemmed from "hacked materials."

    Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told a Congressional hearing on Wednesday that the New York Post account would remain locked until the newspaper deleted their tweet linking to the article.

    What we know about Hunter Biden in Ukraine and China

  11. Postal voting - but in person

    This year, more Americans are voting mail, but many decided to drop off their ballot at an official dropbox to avoid potential postal service delays. Members of our voter panel have been sharing their voting experiences with us.

    Lok Man Fan, who voted in San Francisco, thought about sending her ballot via USPS, ※but with all the chaos, a drop box was the more direct solution,§ she said. She and her husband are ※relieved§ to have already received an email from the county confirming that their ballots were received and would be counted.

    Voting by mail
  12. Kanye West takes out two-page ad in NY Times

    Rapper Kanye West holds his first rally in support of his presidential bid in North Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. July 19, 2020
    Image caption: Kanye West officially launched his campaign for the 2020 US presidential election in July

    Rapper Kanye West has taken out a two-page advert in the New York Times ahead of the presidential election.

    One page of the advert features only the image of a dove, while the other is a letter by West, who is running as an independent candidate in the election, titled ※Dear Future§.

    West*s representative told Page Six it was an ※open letter on how he envisions the future of America should be§.

    The letter features similar language to that used in a video he posted on Twitter on Thursday announcing the launch of his Yeezy Christian Academy.

    ※Dear Future, I still believe in you. We still believe in you. Even in our darkest moments, We believe,§ it says.

    ※Our future will provide expecting families with a safe and secure plan that values every stage of life,§ the letter continues.

    View more on twitter

    ※Our future will provide a justice system that treats everyone equally regardless of their socioeconomic status...

    "Our happy, healthy future looks like the new Garden of Eden with children running and the elderly brimming with joy on how beautiful our world has become."

    The letter was also posted on the Kanye 2020 campaign website.

    West, 43, launched his unconventional bid for the US presidency in July, running as a candidate for his self-styled "Birthday Party". However, he did not meet the requirements to appear on the ballot in most states.

  13. Your Questions Answered: Why is it so difficult to vote?

    Robin Levinson King, BBC News

    Your questions answered

    We*ve been asking our readers for their most pressing questions about the US election. Now it*s our turn to respond.

    Ladara, 30, from Seattle, Washington state, asks: Why is it more difficult to vote this election?

    The pandemic has made voting extra difficult this year.

    There are obvious health risks to crowding together at a polling station, so many states have expanded early voting, either in person or by mail. But each state has its own rules and regulations about who is allowed to vote early, and how it should be done.

    In Pennsylvania, ballots must be ※clothed§ in a privacy envelope. In South Carolina, a witness must verify your ballot.

    There are currently more than 300 lawsuits in 44 states concerning how absentee votes are counted, who is allowed to vote early, and how mail-in ballots are collected.

    All these changes and legal battles can make things really confusing to the voter, and exacerbate long-standing issues, including long queues and long drives.

    Read more about this issue here.

    And click here if you want to know more about this project or send in a question of your own.

  14. Join us for election day coverage

    The big day in the US is very fast approaching. Though early voting has surged, election day is Tuesday 3 November, and that is when we will first start to see results. Although the call on who is the next president may take longer than usual.

    The BBC news website will have live voting results as they come in, and a live page with the latest reaction and analysis from correspondents in the US and around the world.

    Online coverage will also include:

    • A live video stream of the BBC's election night special
    • An interactive map with polling data and election results from the presidential and congressional races, down to a county level
    • We'll be tweeting every result on @BBCNorthAmerica, along with expert analysis. You can also find the latest highlights on our BBC News Facebook account and on Instagram.

    We will also have special coverage on television and radio, of course. More details here

  15. Navajo voters ride into the sunset

    A group of riders on horseback in the Navajo Nation

    Activists from America*s Navajo community have been out on horseback this week to inspire voters into action.

    The Navajo Nation is the largest Native reservation in the US. It comprises more than 173,000 people, spread across the deserts and canyons of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.

    A boy pictured on horseback in the Navajo Nation

    But because of its vast size, many residents have to travel for hours to cast their vote. And with only 27 postal locations spread out across 18,000 square miles, postal balloting can prove just as difficult.

    ※We hear stories about how our grandparents and their parents didn*t have cars but they still rode on horseback for miles and hours just to vote,§ says Allie Young.

    Her organisation, Protecting the Sacred, is co-ordinating the horseback ride with other local groups.

    Riders on horseback outside a polling station

    Today, she and at least 30 other riders will be making a final ride to the Navajo Country Recorder*s Office in Holbrook, Arizona.

    ※By communicating this history and reminding our youth of these stories, we hope that they*ll get excited and will be motivated to follow in their ancestors* footsteps, and that they*ll join us in making our voices heard with our votes.§

    A woman leans on a railing in the Navajo Nation

    Earlier this month, an appeals court refused to grant an extra 10 days to count mail-in ballots from Navajo residents of Arizona, arguing that it would be impossible to discern which voters were tribal members.

    A similar, three-day extension was permitted by the Supreme Court this week for the states of Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

  16. 'Voting was a hoot'

    Millions of voters have been heading to polling stations to vote early. Our voter panel tells us about their experiences.

    Tyrone Mansfield and his friend, Kathleen, voted early last week in Texas. ※It was a hoot,§ Tyrone said, "I felt electricity in the air." They were in and out of the county building in 10 minutes and the poll workers were ※incredibly upbeat, helpful, and gracious.§

    His polling location gave him ※a ziplocked bag with a Q-tip [cotton bud], so we would not have to touch the screens. A finger condom, and wipes for the screens,§ to protect against Covid-19.

    Tyrone voting

    Rachel Tillman voted early in Indiana. ※There was a bit of a line outside, but I was through it in about 15 minutes,§ she said. After voting, she grabbed an "I voted" sticker and took a selfie in her car.

    ※I'm not normally a selfie person (unless my cat's on my chest), but I posted that selfie with a caption that hopefully shot holes in the reasons people typically don't vote,§ she said.

    Rachel Tillman
  17. Lil Wayne praises Trump over criminal reform and 'platinum plan'

    Lil Wayne performs during the 69th NBA All-Star Game at United Center on 16 February, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.
    Image caption: Lil Wayne met with Donald Trump on Thursday

    Rapper Lil Wayne has taken to Twitter to praise President Donald Trump for his work on criminal reform and his plan for black Americans.

    The rapper shared a photo of himself and the president, taken after a meeting in Miami on Thursday, which he said was ※great§. Both men are pictured without masks, smiling and giving the thumbs up in front of US flags.

    ※Besides what he*s done so far with criminal reform, the platinum plan is going to give the community real ownership,§ he wrote.

    Trump unveiled his ※platinum plan§ in September, laying out his ※promise to black America§ if he wins the election, including economic proposals and a pledge to designate "Juneteenth" - which commemorates the end of slavery in the US - as a federal holiday.

    View more on twitter

    ※He listened to what we had to say today and assured he will and can get it done,§ Lil Wayne added.

    The rapper stopped short of making an official endorsement for Trump*s re-election.

    Trump retweeted the rapper*s post.

    Trump has the backing of rapper Lil Pump, actress Kirstie Alley and musician Kid Rock.

    Celebrities including Taylor Swift and George Clooney have thrown their support behind the Democratic ticket.

    Read about whether celebrity endorsements actually make a difference here

  18. The 750,000 people you didn*t know could vote

    Rebecca Seales

    BBC News

    Renaldo Hudson spent almost four decades in prison, and now works with advocacy group Illinois Prison Project
    Image caption: Renaldo Hudson spent almost four decades in prison, and now works with advocacy group Illinois Prison Project

    Renaldo Hudson knew he needed to change his life when he got uninvited from a death row birthday party, for scaring the other inmates.

    He laughs ruefully telling the story now.

    Mr Hudson committed murder as an abused, drug-addicted teenager, and served 37 years in the Illinois justice system. He walked out a very different man, but considers he was fortunate to emerge at all. And having worked as a peer educator in prison, he's thought deeply about how to support incarcerated people and preserve their links to the outside world.

    Now 56, he has a vocation for 2020: "I want to encourage a million people to vote!"

    Why voting? Because it's a right that hundreds of thousands of people in jail don't know they have - and that unawareness locks them out of participating in democracy, and shaping their communities.

    Mr Hudson is one of scores of activists pushing to prevent the mass disenfranchisement of up to 750,000 people in US jails.

    Read more

  19. 'Address climate change to get my vote'

    Fifteen years ago, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, with more than 1,500 people losing their lives in the state of Louisiana alone.

    Donald Trump and Joe Biden have both focused on jobs in the oil industry when speaking about climate change during the presidential campaign. But with coastal erosion, hurricanes and flooding all common in towns along the Louisiana coastline, some people here see climate change from a different perspective.

    "If one of the candidates would directly address the climate change, coastal erosion and land loss happening in Louisiana, I think that would definitely sway my vote for them," 18-year-old Emerson Boutte tells BBC News.

    Video content

    Video caption: US Election: 'Address climate change to get my vote'
  20. The women who hold the key to Trump's survival

    Suburban women are an important voting bloc

    Tara McKelvey

    BBC News, Pennsylvania

    Suburbs

    Kimberly Kriebel shows me a house she wants - a lovely brick home near her mother-in-law's place in East Norriton, a suburb of Philadelphia. Kriebel and her husband live in an apartment that is about a mile away, and she is pining for a place with a small lot for their dog.

    "I get yard envy when I walk through here," she says on a Sunday afternoon, reining in Duke, a Welsh springer spaniel, as they head up a street littered with golden leaves. Kriebel, 46, says she admires Trump's pro-business policies and thinks that she and her husband will have a better chance at buying a house if Trump stays in office.

    "Definitely he's handled the economy well," she says. She admires him for other reasons, too. She grew up in a Christian home, and she appreciates his position on abortion and the way that he supports religious freedom: "We have been impressed."

    Her positive views of Trump are echoed by others in the neighbourhood. But not all.

    Read More: The women who hold the key to Trump's survival